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Without health, we have nothing. All the money in the world will not save our body if we treat our body with bad nutrition.

 

Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart Health


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/01/18/saunas-mimic-exercise.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image

January 18, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. Men using Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week
  • Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who have four to seven sessions per week have a 61% lower risk for stroke. Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure
  • Heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, and produces many of the same results. As your body is subjected to heat stress, it gradually becomes acclimated to the heat, prompting a number of beneficial changes and adaptations
  • Recent research has demonstrated that sauna bathing also helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses
  • Many of the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which protect protein structures and prevent protein aggregation

When it comes to improving your health, some of the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna, for example, has many great health benefits, including expelling of toxins, improving blood circulation, killing disease-causing microbes and improving mitochondrial function.

The key word here is sweating. Just because you are in the sauna doesn’t mean you get the benefits. The sauna has to heat your core temperature up a few degrees, your heart rate needs to increase and you need to have a river of sweat, otherwise you simply will not get these benefits. This is important as many infrared saunas fail to heat you sufficiently to achieve these benefits.

Research has even shown that regular sauna use correlates with a reduced risk of death from any cause, including lethal cardiovascular events, and may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

For example, researchers in Finland — a country where most homes come equipped with a sauna — found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average of 15 minutes had a 66% lower risk of developing dementia, and 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s, compared to men who used the sauna just once a week.1,2

How Sauna Bathing Promotes Good Heart Health

Another long-term study3,4 by the same Finnish research team, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015, revealed that men who used the Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week also cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week.

This held true even after confounding factors such as smokingblood pressurecholesterol and triglyceride levels were factored in. In regard to time, the greatest benefits were found among those who sweated it out for 19 minutes or more each session.

Both the duration and the frequency had dose dependent effects, so the longer the exposure time of each session and the more frequent the sessions, the better the outcome.

One mechanism for this effect is thought to be related to the fact that heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, thus prompting similar effects. This includes increased blood flow to your heart and muscles (which increases athletic endurance) and increased muscle mass due to greater levels of heat-shock proteins and human growth hormone (HGH).

In the video lecture5,6 above, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., reviews how sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. As noted by Patrick:7

“Several studies have shown that frequent sauna bathing (4-7 times per week, 174°F for 20 min.) is associated with a 50% lower risk for fatal heart disease, 60% lower risk for sudden cardiac death, 51% lower risk for stroke, and 46% lower risk for hypertension.

Just a single sauna session has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate variability, and improve arterial compliance. Some of the positive benefits of the sauna on heart health may have to do with similar physiological changes that also occur during physical exercise.

For example, there is a 50-70% redistribution of blood flow away from the core to the skin to facilitate sweating. You start to sweat. Heart rate increases up to 150 beats per minute which correspond to moderate-intensity physical exercise.

Cardiac output (which is a measure of the amount of work the heart performs in response to the body’s need for oxygen) increases by 60-70%. Immediately after sauna use, blood pressure and resting heart rate are lower than baseline similar to physical activity.”

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What Studies Show

Patrick reviews several studies in her lecture. In addition to those already mentioned, a study8 published in 2018, using the same Finnish cohort, looked specifically at stroke risk over a follow-up period of 14.9 years. As in previous studies, benefits were dose dependent.

Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who had four to seven sessions per week had a 61% lower risk for stroke. A similar association was found for ischemic stroke but not for hemorrhagic stroke. As noted by the authors:

“This long-term follow-up study shows that middle-aged to elderly men and women who take frequent sauna baths have a substantially reduced risk of new-onset stroke.”

Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure. In one such study,9 which had a median follow-up of 24.7 years, the hazard ratio for high blood pressure in those using the sauna two to three times a week was 0.76, compared to 0.54 for those using it four to seven times a week.

In other words, using it two to three times a week may lower your risk of high blood pressure by 24%, while using it four to seven times a week can push your risk down by 46%, and this is likely one of the mechanisms by which sauna bathing helps lower your cardiovascular mortality risk.

Even a single sauna session has been shown to reduce pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and left ventricular ejection time.10 Here, systolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 137 mm Hg before sauna bathing to 130 mm Hg afterward. Diastolic blood pressure decreased from 82 to 75 mm Hg, mean arterial pressure from 99.4 to 93.6 mm Hg and left ventricular ejection time from 307 to 278 m/s.

Different Types of Saunas

Most studies on sauna use involve wet Finnish saunas. Traditionally, rocks are heated to a temperature of about 174 degrees Fahrenheit in a wood burning stove, and water is then poured on the rocks to create steam.

But there are several other types of saunas to choose from as well, including far-infrared saunas and near-infrared emitters and lamps.11 Most sauna makers would have you believe that the difference between an infrared sauna and the traditional Finnish-style saunas (whether wet or dry) is that the Finnish-style sauna heats you up from the outside in, like an oven.

But this is simply untrue. The wavelengths of a far-infrared sauna only penetrate a few millimeters, so if you have a far-infrared sauna, unless the temperature in the sauna is around 170 degrees F, it is unlikely you will be getting many benefits.

That said, near-infrared saunas have several additional benefits over other types of saunas, including far-infrared saunas. For starters, it penetrates your tissue more effectively than far-infrared because wavelengths under 900 nanometers (nm) in the near-infrared are not absorbed by water like the higher wavelengths in mid- and far-infrared, and thus can penetrate tissues more deeply.

When you look at the rainbow spectrum, the visible part of light ends in red. Infrared-A (near-infrared) is the beginning of the invisible light spectrum following red. This in turn is followed by infrared-B (mid-infrared) and infrared-C (far-infrared).

While they cannot be seen, the mid- and far-infrared range can be felt as heat. This does not apply to near-infrared, however, which has a wavelength between 700 and 1,400 nm. To learn more about this, see my interview with Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology.

Near-Infrared Radiation Is Important for Optimal Health

My personal sauna preference is the near-infrared, as this range affects your health in a number of important ways,12 primarily through its interaction with chromophores in your body.

Chromophores are molecules that absorb light, found in your mitochondria and in water molecules. (To make sure the near-infrared rays can penetrate your skin, avoid wearing clothing when using a near-infrared sauna.)

In your mitochondria, there’s a specific light-absorbing molecule called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), which is part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and absorbs near-infrared light around 830 nm.

CCO is involved in the energy production within the mitochondria. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — cellular energy — is the end product. ATP is the fuel your cells need for all of their varied functions, including ion transport, synthesizing and metabolism.

Most people don’t realize that light is an important and necessary fuel just like food. When your bare skin is exposed to near-infrared light, CCO will increase ATP production.

Near-infrared light is also healing and repairing, and helps optimize many other biological functions. (Its absence in artificial light sources like LEDs and fluorescents is what makes these light sources do dangerous to your health.)

We now know that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of most health problems and chronic diseases, including many signs of aging. For these reasons, I strongly recommend using a sauna that offers a full spectrum of infrared radiation, not just far-infrared.

Just keep in mind that most infrared saunas emit dangerous electromagnetic fields (EMFs), so look for one that emits low or no non-native EMFs. You need to look beyond their claim and measure them, as many state they have no EMF but have only addressed magnetic fields and still generate off the chart electric fields. Ultimately, you need to independently validate any claims, as some of the biggest names in the business are doing this.

Far-Infrared Sauna Benefits Chronic Heart Conditions

All of that said, in her lecture, Patrick discusses the benefits of Waon Therapy or far-infrared dry sauna, which has been used in some studies. Far-infrared saunas typically have a max temperature of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees Celsius). Because it’s not as hot, the recommended duration is typically around 45 minutes, and the frequency is daily. Two studies looking at Waon Therapy for heart health include:

A 2016 study13 that found Waon therapy was helpful for the management of chronic heart failure, improving endurance, heart size and overall status in hospitalized patients with advanced heart failure.

Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for 10 days. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.

An earlier study,14 published in 2013, found Waon therapy improved myocardial perfusion in patients with chronically occluded coronary artery-related ischemia. Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for three weeks. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.

The best results were seen in patients with the highest summed stress score and summed difference score at baseline. The improvements were attributed to improved vascular endothelial function, and according to the authors, Waon therapy “could be a complementary and alternative tool in patients with severe coronary lesions not suitable for coronary intervention.”

How Your Body Responds to Heat

As mentioned, one of the reasons sauna bathing improves health has to do with the fact that it mimics the stress your body undergoes during exercise. While “stress” is typically perceived as a bad thing, intermittent stressors such as exercise and temporary heat stress actually produces beneficial physiological changes.

As explained by Patrick, once your core temperature reaches 102.2 degrees F. (39 degrees C), blood is redistributed away from your core toward the surface of your skin to facilitate sweating. You can easily get an inexpensive ear thermometer to measure and confirm that your temperature is reaching this level.

Your heart rate increases from about 60 beats per minute to about 150, equivalent to moderate intensity exercise, and your cardiac output increases by 60% to 70%. This process is the same whether your core temperature is raised by exercise or sitting still in a sauna.

As demonstrated in a June 2019 study,15,16 spending 25 relaxing minutes in a sauna has the same physical effects as bicycling on a stationary bike with a load of 100 watts for 25 minutes. Heart rate and blood pressure were found to be identical for both activities, with blood pressure and heart rate increasing during the sessions, followed by a drop below baseline levels afterward.

This prompted the researchers to conclude that “The acute heat exposure in the sauna is a burden comparable to moderate physical exercise,” and that “The sustained decrease in blood pressure after heat exposure suggests that the sauna bath will have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.”17

Sauna Bathing Improves Autonomic Nervous System Balance

Recent research18 has also demonstrated that sauna bathing helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses.19 To examine the acute effects of a sauna session, the researchers looked at the participants’ heart rate variability (HRV), which is an indicator of your body’s capacity to respond to stress.

Your autonomic nervous system has two branches: the parasympathetic branch (“rest and digest”) and the sympathetic branch (“fight or flight”). HRV is an indicator for how these two branches are functioning. Higher HRV means your body is better equipped to handle stress. As reported in the abstract:

“A total of 93 participants … with cardiovascular risk factors were exposed to a single sauna session (duration: 30 min; temperature: 73 °C; humidity: 10-20%) and data on HRV variables were collected before, during and after sauna.

Time and frequency-domain HRV variables were significantly modified by the single sauna session, with most of HRV variables tending to return near to baseline values after 30 min recovery. Resting HR [heart rate] was lower at the end of recovery (68/min) compared to pre-sauna (77/min).

A sauna session transiently diminished the vagal component, whereas the cooling down period after sauna decreased low frequency power and increased high frequency power in HRV, favorably modulating the autonomic nervous system balance.

This study demonstrates that a session of sauna bathing induces an increase in HR. During the cooling down period from sauna bathing, HRV increased which indicates the dominant role of parasympathetic activity and decreased sympathetic activity of cardiac autonomic nervous system.

Future randomized controlled studies are needed to show if HR and HRV changes underpins the long-term cardiovascular effects induced by regular sauna bathing.”

Sauna Bathing Improves Longevity

Seeing how sauna bathing protects and improves heart and vascular health and lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, it’s no major surprise to find that it also increases longevity. In fact, it’s precisely what you’d expect.

The 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine study20 mentioned earlier in this article also looked at all-cause mortality, in addition to sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and fatal CVD.

Sauna bathing four to seven times a week lowered all-cause mortality by 40% after taking into account confounding factors such as age, blood pressure, smoking and other variables, while two to three sessions per week lowered it by 24%.

hazard ratios cardiac death

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine 2015;175(4):542-548, Table 2

How Sauna Bathing Increases Longevity

As explained by Patrick, the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which respond to stress (be it heat stress, exercise or fasting) by:

  • Protecting protein structures, i.e., maintaining their proper three-dimensional properties inside your cells, which is crucial for their proper function
  • Preventing protein aggregation (which is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s)
  • Slowing muscular atrophy

Heat shock proteins have also been shown to play an important role in human longevity. Patrick cites a 2010 study21 showing the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) gene plays a functional role in human survival and life extension.

This makes sense considering Hsp70 is an anti-inflammatory protein involved in cellular maintenance and repair mechanisms. So, whether you have one copy, two copies or are a non-carrier can influence your longevity.

If you are not one of the lucky carriers of this allele, you can boost your survival range by taking regular saunas, as it increases your heat shock proteins regardless. According to Patrick, heat shock proteins stay elevated for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished your sauna.

Another way by which sauna bathing increases longevity (and health span) is by lowering systemic inflammation, which not only plays a significant role in the aging process but also underpins virtually all chronic diseases that ultimately take a toll on life span. Sauna use has also been shown to increase anti-inflammatory biomarkers, such as IL-10.22

In one 2018 study,23 people who reported more frequent sauna use had lower C-reactive protein levels, which is a blood marker for inflammation. Sauna frequency of use and mean C-reactive protein levels were as follows:

  • Once a week: 2.41 mmol/L
  • Two to three times a week: 2.00 mmol/L
  • Four to seven times a week: 1.65 mmol/L

A Sauna Can Be a Great Health Investment

As you can see, sauna bathing can go a long way toward improving your health and increasing your life span. Here, I’ve focused primarily on heart and cardiovascular health, but there are many other health benefits as well, including improved mood, pain reduction, increased metabolism, detoxification, skin rejuvenation, stress reduction and immune support, just to name a few.

To learn more, listen to Patrick’s lecture. You can also find more information in my previous articles, “Sauna Therapy May Reduce Risk of Dementia and Boost Brain Health,” “How to Achieve Superior Detoxification with Near-Infrared Light,” and “Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing Drug?

Sources and References

Washing Away Health — Cleanliness in a Microbial World


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/28/washing-away-health-documentary.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  Fact Checked image  

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • People who grow up on farms or live in developing countries have lower incidences of food allergies and asthma because they are exposed to normal dirt and germs
  • Not all household germs require strong disinfectants: Soap and water is sufficient
  • Disinfectants and antibacterial cleaners can cause pathogens to develop resistance to them, doing more harm than good
  • Cleaning chemicals bypass the liver and kidneys and directly enter the bloodstream during skin or lung exposure
  • Personal care products used excessively will disrupt the balance of natural, “good” bacteria that live on human skin and remove valuable sebum

Have our bodies and environments become too clean? For decades, manufacturers of cleaning products and chemicals have scared people into enacting a household version of “germ warfare.” If you believe the advertising, no kitchen counter, floor or tub is really clean unless all germs have been annihilated with harsh chemicals.

These same companies also exhort people to over-clean themselves with toxic shampoos, soaps and body washes. Yet, daily bathing only became a practice with the relatively recent invention of indoor plumbing; over 100 years ago, many thought wetting the whole body at once instead of taking sponge baths was dangerous and would invite diseases like pneumonia.

The featured documentary, “Washing Away Health: Navigating Cleanliness, Wellness and Resistance in a Microbial World,” from Cleaner World Productions, explores the significant dangers of overcleaning our bodies and environments. These risks range from exposing ourselves to dermatological and respiratory side effects from cleaning products to disrupting our microbiomes and immune systems.

We Are Washing Away Health, Says Revealing Documentary

Excessive cleaning is becoming harmful to ourselves, our homes and our environment. That is the message “Washing Away Health” delivers. In it, experts detail the burgeoning microbial resistance triggered by our obsession with cleanliness, and the surprising health ramifications of being too clean.1

People who grow up on farms or live in developing countries don’t tend to have the food allergiesasthma or other “First World problems” we see in places that are overcleaning, says Laura Kahn, author of “One Health and the Politics of Antimicrobial Resistance,” who is featured in the video.

The reason may be found in the hygiene hypothesis. If a child is raised in an environment saturated in disinfectant soaps and cleansers, they may not able to build up resistance to disease through normal exposure to dirt and germs. This could explain why many allergies and immune-system diseases have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the past few decades — we have become too clean.

Not being exposed to microbes and pathogens can create an excessively clean immune system that can actually begin “attacking itself,” explains Kahn. Sarah Crawford, president of Bio Green Clean,2 a company that makes phosphate-, fume- and fragrance-free cleaning products, agrees, saying, “There is something to be said for ‘healthy germs’.”

Ads Mislead People Into Overcleaning

It is no coincidence that so many people overclean their homes with harmful products — the commercials are everywhere, says Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voice for the Earth.

“Washing Away Health” shows examples of ads for Lysol and Mr. Clean cleaners that could make anyone think their home is teeming with germs, and that they’re negligent if they don’t use a harsh chemical onslaught. In actuality, soap and water are just as effective, the narrator points out.

Similar “fear marketing” was used to sell cleaning products with antibacterial agents, which the FDA has since banned from consumer soaps.3 Adding antibacterial agents to hand, body, dish and laundry soaps and other personal care products did not make them clean any better, but allowed manufacturers to charge more for “new and improved” items.

They tremendously worsened antibiotic resistance and, since soap is “by nature antibacterial” anyway — a point Kahn makes — antibacterial chemicals are redundant.

Consider triclosan, one of the antibacterial agents added to soap and found in Colgate’s Total toothpaste until recently.4 Triclosan not only contributes to the development of bacterial resistance, but also increases the amount of bisphenol-A (BPA) you absorb when handling thermal receipt paper or other BPA-containing products. According to PubChem, triclosan also has been detected in human breast milk. Additionally, triclosan:5

“… might cause spontaneous abortion; probably through inhibition of estrogen sulfotransferase activity to produce placental thrombosis … 

In children, triclosan exposure was associated with allergic sensitization, especially inhalant and seasonal allergens, rather than food allergens. Current rhinitis was associated with the highest levels of triclosan, whereas no association was seen for current asthma.

In the North American bullfrog … exposure to low levels of triclosan thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and can alter the rate of thyroid hormone-mediated postembryonic development.”

According to research published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, triclosan has also been linked to a role in cancer development, possibly due to its estrogen disruption activity.6

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Resistance, Pollution, Algae and More

The routine and widespread use of antibiotics on factory farms is seen as the primary driver of antibiotic resistance. Because of the extreme crowding of livestock in these concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), antibiotics are used as a “substitute” for cleaning and hygiene, says Kahn.

“These animals did not evolve to live in such crowded facilities,” she says: In Scandinavian countries where livestock antibiotics have been phased out, antibiotics resistant bacteria have greatly diminished, showing that a reversal of resistance is indeed possible if you attack it at the source.

In the video, Matthew Wargo, professor of microbiology at the University of Vermont, details factors that affect resistance, such as bacterial competition and how bacteria can confer resistance to each other. A microscope demonstration of such transference is shown in the video.

Excessive cleaning also causes other environmental harm. The single use plastic containers of harsh cleaning products significantly add to global plastic pollution says Martin Wolf, director of product sustainability and authenticity at Seventh Generation, adding that Seventh Generation products are made from recycled materials.

The phosphates in cleaning products also contribute to algae blooms — with huge plumes of discolored water that can lead to fish die-offs and municipalities being forced to cut off water to residents, notes Crawford of Bio Green Clean. Toxic algae is an constant problem in Lake Erie, closing beaches, wrecking tourism, endangering pets and contaminating drinking water.7

Cleaning Products More Dangerous Than Many Think

Many don’t give a second thought to cleaning with harsh chemicals, forgetting that when you inhale them or allow them to come into contact with your skin, they will enter your bloodstream directly, bypassing your liver and kidneys, which are part of your natural defense system against toxins.

Also, the more frequently harsh cleaning products are used, the more risks people face, according to medical studies. For example, a 2017 study found that nurses who used disinfectants once a week or more had up to a 32% higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than those who didn’t.8

Even if you not do not personally use harsh cleaning products, the buildings they are used in are also made unsafe, “Washing Away Health” points out. Ventilation systems do not completely remove the chemicals, either, warns Carol Westinghouse, president and founder of Informed Green Solutions.

Crawford says harsh cleaners can even be deadly: She recounts hearing stories of cats that, having walked across floors cleaned with Swiffer WetJet, died after licking their paws. Fragrance added to cleaning products, even when natural, can also be harmful, says Wolf.

Less Washing Can Bring Back Balance

Overtreating bacteria, viruses and even fungi results in disruption of natural environments and a paradoxical resistance to the very cleaning products supposed to eradicate them, according to the experts in “Washing Away Health.”

A similar phenomenon occurs with personal care items. The natural, beneficial bacteria that live on human skin and the sebum on our hair are also disrupted by excessive cleansing. Our microbiomes and immune systems are also compromised by overcleansing.

While manufacturers of personal care products have convinced people they will smell awful or will be offensive without the use of their harsh products, the opposite is actually true. It’s primarily overcleansing that causes odor-causing bacteria to overgrow, as it disrupts your body’s natural systems of balance.

All of that said, there are instances in which germ vigilance is required. Cuts, for example, need to be properly cleaned, and disinfecting food preparation areas is a good idea. Medical facilities also need to be vigilant about cleanliness and disinfection. In our day-to-day lives, however, we should not go overboard.

Solutions From ‘Washing Away Health’

There are several encouraging trends highlighted in “Washing Away Health” that imply the problem of “too much cleanliness” is being addressed. Michelle Thompson, an industrial hygienist at the Vermont Department of Health, says the Envision Program was created in Vermont in 2000 to create healthier, safer schools with fewer asthma triggers. In 2012, Act 125, a green cleaning law, was passed in Vermont.

Westinghouse speculates that steam cleaning will begin to replace harsh chemical cleaners. Already, she says, there are portable steam cleaners that can be used commercially or residentially. Kahn thinks there is great promise in the use of viruses called bacteriophages to clean. As explained by the Leibniz Institute, phages:9

“… exclusively attack bacteria and lyse them (‘bacteria eaters’). Phages cannot reproduce alone by themselves, they require the bacterial cell as a host to reproduce within the host 

After adsorption to the bacterial surface, the phage injects its nucleic acid into the bacterium that will now be forced to produce a new phage generation by using the bacterial enzyme equipment.

One single bacterial cell produces such an enormous number of new phages that the pressure forces the bacterium to burst. The phages will immediately kill other bacteria with a surface matching with the phage.”

To prevent further antibiotic resistance, all the experts featured in “Washing Away Health” stress the importance of not demanding antibiotics from a doctor or using antibiotics for nonbacterial infections. They also urge you to vote with your wallet. Do not buy risky cleaning products that overclean and wash away health.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as an Adjunct Healing Modality


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/24/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-benefits.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

November 24, 2019

Video not available on this site. To view, please go to the original article above.
Or download video transcript

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing air or oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The pressure allows your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen
  • There’s a wide range of conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial, including autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries, mitochondrial dysfunction-driven conditions, ailments involving damaged microcirculation, chronic infections, subacute infections and cancer co-management
  • Hyperbaric oxygen improves mitochondrial function, helps with detoxification, inhibits and controls inflammation and optimizes your body’s energy production and healing capacity
  • HBOT also activates stem cell production, and can help optimize results when doing stem cell therapy
  • While HBOT can speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, one of which is diabetic neuropathy, and typically only after other conventional treatments have failed. There are over 100 internationally recognized indications for hyperbaric use

In this interview, Dr. Jason Sonners discusses hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which is a tremendously beneficial and widely underutilized therapy. Sonners, a chiropractor, also has a degree in applied kinesiology,1 and has worked with HBOT for over 12 years.

Even if you’re not trying to treat a specific condition and are generally healthy, HBOT can have significant benefits for longevity.

“On its most basic premise, hyperbaric oxygen [therapy] is literally the breathing of either air or oxygen under pressure. You’re inside some type of pressurized device or hyperbaric chamber. Due to the pressure, you’re exposing the body to a higher percentage of oxygen.

You could also increase that oxygen by piping oxygen into the chambers. As a result of that environment, you’re increasing the body’s capacity to absorb more oxygen than what you and I can get here at 1 atmosphere (atm),” Sonners explains.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Basics

Most healthy individuals have somewhere between 96% and 98% oxygen in their hemoglobin, which means your capacity to increase your oxygen level is between 2% and 4%, were you to breathe medical-grade oxygen, for example. That’s it; there’s no way to raise your oxygen level beyond that. The exception is if your body is under pressure.

“Two main laws govern how that works,” Sonners says. “Boyle’s Law and Henry’s Law. Basically, as you take a gas and exert pressure on it, you make the size of that gas take up less space. As a result of that pressure, you can then dissolve that gas into a liquid.

An easy example is a can of seltzer. They’re using carbon dioxide and water. But basically, you can pressurize that can, so you can put carbon dioxide into that can. As a result of that pressurization, you can dissolve molecules of carbon dioxide into the water.

In the hyperbaric version of that, we’re using oxygen, and the can is the chamber. But as a result of dumping excess oxygen inside that chamber, you can dissolve that into the liquid of your body … directly into the tissue and the plasma of your blood.

Normally your blood does not carry oxygen. We rely wholly on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity. But inside the chamber, you could literally bypass the red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity altogether, and you can absorb oxygen directly into the plasma and tissue of the body.”

Your Body Needs All the Oxygen It Can Get

Sonners, who has a lot of experience with functional medicine and nutrition, views oxygen primarily as a nutrient.

“We need about 100% of the oxygen that we’re capable of carrying every minute of every day just to perform normal functions,” he says, “so there’s very little room for creating an excess of oxygen for the sake of healing or helping some of the conditions that we’ll talk about later on …

In nutrition, there’s deficiency, which has consequences. There’s optimum range, which is allowing us to do what we need to do every day. And then there are periods where we need a surplus of that nutrient to help us deal with some issue that we’re having in our health or in our life.

I look at oxygen the same way. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, whether that’s globally because of a lung or heart issue or if that’s locally because of a trauma … or some type of injury or inflammation, you could have an area of your body that has oxygen deficiency. We call that hypoxia.

There’s an optimum range of oxygen, which for us is virtually almost 100% of our oxygen-carrying capacity, every minute of every day. And then periodically, we might choose that we want to create a surplus of oxygen because oxygen … helps us detoxify, it controls inflammation, it runs our energy production and helps us to heal …

Once you expose the body to increased levels of oxygen … the whole oxidative phosphorylation [process], the whole ATP and energy production system of our body increases its capacity to produce ATP and to produce energy …

Sometimes, we might need more than the optimum range to help us get over some sort of health issue, or … from a quality of life, longevity, regenerative medicine-type standpoint …”

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Conditions That Can Benefit From HBOT

Considering the importance of oxygen, there’s a long list of conditions for which HBOT is recommended. Insurance will pay for some, but not anywhere near all of them.

While HBOT can be used to help speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, whereas there are up to 100 approved indications for HBOT internationally.

“In the States, we reserve it for pretty tough cases: really bad infections like gangrene, osteomyelitis, radiation burns … diabetic neuropathy … chronic wounds that are not healing with traditional attempts at antibiotics and things like that,” Sonners says.

From my perspective, it’s medically reprehensible and inexcusable for a doctor to not treat patients with diabetic neuropathy, infections in the distal extremities or peripheral vascular disease with HBOT, as it will in most cases prevent the need for amputation.

That the U.S. limits the use of HBOT to a last resort for only a few hard-to-treat conditions is truly unfortunate, as there’s a wide range of other conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial. This includes:

All autoimmune conditions
Neurological conditions, including concussion, traumatic brain injurydementia and post-stroke
Musculoskeletal injuries, including broken bones, disk herniations, and torn muscles and tendons
Any condition involving mitochondrial dysfunction (which includes most chronic and degenerative diseases)
Any condition involving damaged microcirculation or that can benefit from capillary growth
Chronic infections such as Lyme disease, and subacute infections that cause damage over time — As noted by Sonners, “When you go into these pressurized hyperbaric chambers and you’re breathing and absorbing these higher levels of oxygen, they literally act as a natural antibiotic.”

The hyperbaric oxygen kills anaerobic bacteria and helps break down the biofilm that many anaerobic bacteria produce to protect themselves. At the same time, it’s boosting your immune system through increased neutrophil-macrophage stimulation and by feeding healthy bacteria.

Hyperbaric oxygen also combats viral and fungal infections, in part by stimulating neutrophil and macrophage activation. “You literally stimulate an increased production of white blood cells,” Sonners says, “and that’s what your body uses to fight infections”

Cancer co-management — As noted by Sonners, researchers are looking at HBOT in cancer treatments in a number of different ways. For example, doing it may allow you to use less radiation or chemo and still get the same outcome. Or, it may allow the patient to tolerate higher amounts of radiation by speeding the healing between sessions. A third avenue of investigation is the use of HBOT in isolation.

Some of them are using it as a method to help with or augment the cancer treatment itself. Some are using it as a way to heal,” Sonners says. “There are consequences of chemotherapy. There are consequences of radiation.

The idea with most cancer treatments is we’re trying to kill cells. Hopefully, the person survives that process. If you’re augmenting with hyperbaric oxygen simultaneously, the idea is that you’re also helping to heal the tissue so that the healthy tissue can still survive or even thrive …”

HBOT Improves Mitochondrial Function

“If the idea is that we need to control inflammation, if we need to improve the rate of healing, if we need to improve mitochondrial function — all of these are going to be very solid indications of people who would respond very positively to hyperbaric treatment,” Sonners says.

One of the reasons I’m fascinated by HBOT is because of its ability to improve mitochondrial function. As noted by Sonners, longer term hyperbaric exposures will result in larger mitochondria and a greater density of mitochondria.

“Just to give you an idea, [after] 20 or 40 hours of exposure, what you’re going to end up getting [are] more efficient, bigger mitochondria, and you’re going to get a lot more of them,” he says.

“Even if you’re stuck at like 80% efficiency, if you had twice as many mitochondria, producing 80% efficiency, you’re still going to get a much better output for the patient. I think the capacity there for improving these chronic illnesses is really tremendous.”

HBOT Boosts Stem Cell Production

HBOT also activates stem cell production. Conventional stem cell therapy can cost $10,000 to $20,000 and isn’t covered by insurance. HBOT costs far less, may be covered by insurance (depending on your condition), is completely safe and has a whole host of other beneficial effects as well.

Even if you decide to get stem cell therapy, using HBOT before and after can significantly improve your end results, as the hyperbaric oxygen will help optimize your internal environment to make it more conducive to the newly injected stem cells.

Sonners suggests 10 to 20 hours of HBOT before your stem cell treatment, as that’s when your body will start upregulating its own stem cells. If you’re extracting the stem cells from your own body, you will now also have much higher amounts. After the stem cell injection, Sonners suggests doing 20 to 40 hours of HBOT to make sure the new stem cells will thrive.

Difference Between HBOT and EWOT

On a side note, there’s a similar therapy that many people confuse with HBOT. EWOT is an acronym for “exercise with oxygen therapy,” which usually involves using an oxygen concentrator and a large oxygen-filled bag that you then breathe from while exercising.

While EWOT certainly has its benefits, it’s not interchangeable with HBOT. They’re really very distinct therapies and accomplish different things. For starters, while EWOT is an active process, hyperbaric oxygen is a passive process.

With hyperbaric oxygen, you’re typically sitting or lying down and simply breathing normally. “Especially in some patient populations, you can’t even express the level of exercise you would need to in order to gain some of those benefits. That’s one difference,” Sonners says.

The primary difference, however, is that with EWOT, you’re basically increasing demand through exercise, and then you’re increasing supply through the oxygen concentrator. However, you’re still relying on your red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.

“If you have an issue that is trauma-related — chronic inflammation, damage to the microcirculation — there’s nothing about that excess oxygen that you’re creating through supply and demand that’s ultimately ever going to change that. So long as you are relying on red blood cells carrying, you will not get oxygen to the damaged site.

The only way you’re going to change that environmental issue, and especially the microcirculation … [and stem cells, is through] exposures to oxygen [under] pressure. This is where oxygen will be absorbed directly into the plasma and tissues along the hypoxic tissue gain access to the oxygen.

What we’re finding is that it’s not just the level of oxygen absorption. Some of our epigenome is pressure-sensitive. Pressure alone increases the response to oxygen and stimulates some of these healing responses.

The biggest difference is that one is active and one is passive. One is still relying on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity; one is basically bypassing red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.

To some degree, they’re both increasing oxygen, but I don’t think you could really compare it. I mean hyperbaric is definitely increasing oxygen capacity to a degree that is significantly higher than anything else that exists.”

So, to recap, your red blood cells (if you are healthy) are typically already saturated with oxygen at 98% to 99%, and breathing pure oxygen at normal pressures will not significantly change that. But if you breathe oxygen under pressure, it will diffuse into your cellular fluids and provide a greater delivery of oxygen to your tissues, especially if they have compromised microcirculation.

Soft Versus Hard Shell Chambers

There are two primary types of HBOT chambers: hard shell and soft shell. Hard-shell versions are available in two types — the kind you find in hospitals and the kind you typically find in private clinics or can purchase for home use.

Hard shell 100% oxygen hospital chambers are capable of the highest pressures, which in some cases can be important, especially in cases of nonhealing wounds. In this kind of chamber, the pressurization is done with 100% oxygen. While oxygen is not really flammable, it’s an accelerant, so you have to be very careful not to create sparks. You’re wearing cotton scrubs and you can’t bring anything inside the chamber.

Hard chambers are the next step down. Instead of filling the whole hard chamber with oxygen, air is used to create pressure, and then oxygen is being piped in separately for you to breathe.

In this type of chamber, you can wear whatever clothing you want as you don’t have the same safety concerns. You can even bring certain electronics into the chamber. In many situations, this is an ideal choice, as the safety is higher while the effectiveness of the treatment is identical, especially for most internal issues. These types of chambers are often found in private clinics.

Soft chambers are limited in terms of the pressure you can achieve. “In the U.S., you’re only allowed to go to 1.3 atmospheres (ATA), which is about a relative 9 feet underwater. It’s considered mild HBOT. It’s about 4 to 4.25 pounds of force per square inch (psi),” Sonners says.

Still, it will allow you to absorb quite a bit more oxygen than you could normally, so it still offers very meaningful benefits. You may need to use it more frequently, and for longer duration though.

While treatments involving hard shell chambers with 100% oxygen are quite costly, typically running around $2,000 per treatment (which may or may not be covered by insurance), hard and soft chambers found in private clinics are much more affordable, typically ranging between $90 to $180 per session. While this may still sound like a lot, it could well turn out to be one of your less expensive options in the long run.

“Clinically, we used to do our typical protocols. When people weren’t responding the way we expected them to, we would introduce hyperbaric oxygen.

At this point, it’s become literally one of the first things that we do, because if we do [HBOT] early on, so many of the other therapies that we used to have to do, we don’t need to do anymore,” Sonners says.

HBOT Treatment Suggestions

Typically, you’d want to start out getting about 10 hours of treatment at a local facility to see if and how your condition responds. If you’re trying to address trauma, an injury or a condition that has a beginning and end, then whatever benefits you get from the therapy, you will keep as you heal.

Progressive and degenerative conditions, on the other hand, and/or if you’re using it for longevity purposes, treatment will need to be ongoing for long periods of time. This is a case in which you may want to consider buying your own chamber.

“Somewhere between 10 and 20 hours, you kind of know if it’s a good fit for you. From that point, with guidance of the practitioner, you should be able to figure out a baseline of what your protocol should look like,” Sonners says. “Ultimately, if you’re going to be using this thing for years and years, then you’re better off, in most cases, just to have your own.”

Unfortunately, it can be tricky finding a local HBOT facility. Usually, online search results tend to focus on hospitals, and hospitals will not provide you with HBOT unless you have one of the 14 approved indications.

“To find a center, you’re just going to be looking up hyperbaric oxygen [centers]. You’re going to be looking in the private sector, because those are the only people outside the hospital who are going to treat these other indications,” Sonners says.

One alternative is to contact either the International Hyperbaric Association2 (IHA) or Hyperbaric Medical International3 (HMI). These are the two organizations focused on educating the public on the use of HBOT in the U.S., especially for indications that aren’t FDA-approved.

“They have a tremendous amount of resources,” Sonners says. “They also probably help direct people … to centers that might be more local … That’s probably the best. Otherwise, you’d be looking at different manufacturers that produce chambers and how to get those into your home.”

If you’re in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can visit one of Sonner’s clinics — New Jersey HBOT Center, or HBOT PA. You can also learn more on HBOTusa.com, which is Sonner’s primary education website. There you can find a list of treated conditions, research, the benefits of HBOT in athletics, testimonials and much more. Sonners has also written a book, “Under Pressure: How One Unexpected Tool Is Revolutionizing Health,” which you can preorder here.

preorder under pressure
– Sources and References

The Little Known Miracle of Life: Fulvic acid

© 7th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/little-known-miracle-life-fulvic-acid

Posted on: Thursday, November 7th 2019 at 12:30 pm

In the beginning, the earth was blessed with rich, fertile soil and lush vegetation. The soil was teaming with microbes — bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, to name a few. In the perfect cycle of life, microbes in the soil break down dead plant material and create substances and nutrients that nourish plants. When humans eat these plants, we enjoy the nutrients that they provide

The microbes in the soil make the hidden treasure called fulvic acid, the miracle of life. Fulvic acid is not a vitamin or a mineral and science cannot synthesize this substance in a laboratory. Our bodies require it for optimal health, but, we no longer get fulvic acid in adequate amounts from our food.

While the scientific research is growing in support of fulvic acid, there are less than 1,750 studies on PubMed.gov. One needs to dig around to find fulvic studies related to human benefits, but information and clinical evidence exists. This is not “just another supplement” but a powerful, life-giving substance that is quietly disappearing from our food and this is taking a toll on human health.

Fulvic acid has been reported to rejuvenate health and bring a multitude of benefits that are unmatched by any other natural substance.

Fulvic acid (FA) has been used for 3,000 years as Shilajit in Indian medicine.

Carrasco-Gallardo stated, “It is likely that the curative properties attributable to shilajit are provided by the significant levels of fulvic acids that shilajit contains, considering that fulvic acid is known by its strong antioxidant actions.” [v]

Historically, it was believed that fulvic acid/Shilajit had immune-modulating, antioxidant, diuretic, antihypertensive, and hypoglycemic benefits. [Winker][Trivadi] FA was used in diabetes, and to support the urinary, immune, digestive, cardiac, and nervous systems. [xxiv][i][ii][viii]

In Ayurveda literature it is called “rasayana” or rejuvenator, enhancing the quality of life. [xxxviii][xv]

Benefits

Fulvic acids can be found in compost or peat, lignite (brown coal which gives inferior fulvic acid) or ancient humic deposits that come from deep within the earth. Unlike other deposits formed over time deep below the earth’s surface, like coal, oil and natural gas, humic deposits are safe, providing powerful compounds that provide an impressive number of benefits for plants, humans and animals.

  • enhances the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals [xxxix]
  • anti-inflammatory effects [iv][x][xiv][xxxvii][xxxiii]
  • anti-allergy [xl]
  • improves many aspects of eczema [xiv]
  • speeds skin healing [xxix][xiv][xxxvii]
  • enhances healing of wounds infected with drug-resistant pathogens [xliv][xlii]
  • protects against free radical damage as an antioxidant [iv][xxxiv][xxv]
  • anti-aging benefits [v]
  • improves gut flora and gut health [xxxix]
  • anti-diarrheal effects in animals and humans [xxvi]
  • improves energy levels [xxiv]
  • reduces oxidative stress [xxxix]
  • useful in treatment of osteoarthritis patients [xix]
  • shows antiviral activity, interfering with a virus’ ability to attach to a host cell, penetrate the host cell, and reproduce itself [xxii][xxviii]
  • displays antimicrobial activity [xxxvi]
  • displays antifungal activity [xiii][xxxii]
  • effective for the management of oral biofilm infections [xxxiii]
  • anti-aging effect on the skin, increasing fibroblast viability and reducing collagen degradation [xxi]
  • neuroprotective, improves memory and brain function [v][ix][xvi]
  • supports the immune system [xxxix]
  • stimulates metabolism [vi]
  • cleanses toxins and heavy metals from the body [xviii][vii][xxiii]
  • shows immunomodulatory activity [xxxi]
  • modulates homocysteine and pro-inflammatory mediators linked to atherosclerosis [xii]
  • promotes ulcer healing [xv][xxxi][xli]

Science cannot create fulvic acid

Fulvic acid offers a seemingly endless spectrum of benefits for human and animal health that would make any pharmaceutical company nervous. Fulvic acid cannot be made by man because it involves photosynthesis and humification. The process that creates fulvic acid requires nature’s recyclers, microorganisms, working in fertile, rich soil over a long period of time. Microbes decompose organic material (manure, compost, decaying plant material), in the soil to create nutrients for the plant including trace minerals, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Microbes make the minerals in the soil into a useful form for plants and over time the microbes help create an amazing substance called humus (hyoo-muh s).

“Essentially, All Life Depends Upon The Soil … There Can Be No Life Without Soil And No Soil Without Life”

~ Charles E. Kellogg, head of the Soil Survey in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 37 years (1934-1971)

We never had to worry about getting enough fulvic acid, it simply existed in our soil and in our food, since time began. Fertile soil, and the microbial life within it, is a highly valuable natural resource that is critical for food security and for human health. Fertile soil is teaming with microbial life (it is interesting to note that there are more bacteria in two spoonfuls of rich, fertile soil than there are humans on planet earth). Sustainable farming practices that add compost and organic compounds to the soil help create a robust microbial community. Microbes are required for the cycle of life. They work to break down plant and animal matter, and over hundreds and thousands of years, fulvic acid is one of the end products of decomposition.

Common agricultural practices cause the loss of fulvic acid in food and the progressive deterioration of human health

Over the past 50 to 100 years, farming practices that sustained humans for thousands of years have drastically changed. Chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides were created to increase crop yield, kill insects and control weeds. Modern agricultural practices increase the amount of food produced but the toll this has taken on soil microbes, plant nutrients and human and animal health is underappreciated.

While attempting to kill the pests and weeds and bolster plant production, the chemicals used in agriculture have inadvertently attacked friendly troops in the soil jungle.

The price of growing food this way is dramatically altering the natural recycling process required in nature, and the downstream effects on human health are mounting.

Fulvic acid may seem like “just another nutrient” that is declining in food, but it is actually the most important health-building compound because it is nature’s intended vehicle for transporting minerals and other nutrients into living cells.

Fulvic acid is nature’s answer to depleted food and too many toxins

Fulvic acid and humic acid are the key substances found in humus, the end result of the humification process where microbes in the soil break down once living matter, usually plants. It is believed that most of the health benefits attributed to Shilajit and humic substances are primarily due to the presence of fulvic acid. [v]

Fulvic acid is a very small molecule of low molecular weight. It is smaller than humic acid and penetrates the cell membrane and even the mitochondria. [v] Because fulvic acid bonds easily to nutrients like vitamins and minerals, it efficiently delivers nutrients where they are needed. Without fulvic acid our bodies’ ability to absorb nutrients (from food or supplementation) is diminished. [xxiv]

Fulvic acid’s small molecular weight coupled with the fact that it is water soluble at all pH levels, makes it superior for working in the body to:

  • deliver nutrients
  • bring antioxidant benefits
  • remove cellular waste products and toxins [xliii]

“You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”

~Dr. Linus Pauling, awarded two Nobel Prizes

It is well known that minerals are required for a range of biochemical processes, but mineral deficiencies are epidemic. Our food lacks the vitamin and mineral content that it should have and most supplements do not absorb well enough to correct mineral deficiencies. The fulvic acid complex contains bioavailable minerals and trace elements that are desperately needed to combat widespread mineral deficiency in humans.

Fulvic acid is nature’s answer to the problem that man has created with over-farming and the production of processed foods.

Fulvic acid is a magical vehicle with 60 seats

The main components of fulvic acid are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These molecules in fulvic acid easily bond to other molecules and transport them through the body. It can possess over 70 trace elements, electrolytes, polyphenols, flavonoids, and essential amino acids.

Naturopathic physician, Dr. Daniel Nuzum, has been studying fulvic acid since 1998. He has used fulvic acid supplements with thousands of patients, and he researches and teaches extensively about fulvic acid. Very few doctors can make this claim, and have little to no experience with fulvic acid. Dr. Nuzum is an expert and he is able to communicate a difficult concept in a way that is easy to understand. “Fulvic acts like the FedEx truck and the garbage truck,” Dr. Nuzum explained. “It delivers nutrition into the cell and carries the trash (toxins & waste) out too!”

Fulvic acid has 60 receptor sites and because it is a carbon-based compound, it bonds easily to nutrients. Dr. Nuzum likens fulvic acid to a 60-passenger bus carrying nutrients in each of the 60 seats. The fulvic acid bus travels along to cells needing a nutrient package delivered. When it drops off the nutrient package, a seat is empty on the fulvic acid bus, so it picks up cellular waste and toxins, like the garbage man, and removes them from your system.

The missing puzzle piece

Many people are feeling the effects of low nutrient absorption, even in the presence of a good diet with regular intake of supplemental vitamins and minerals. This information about fulvic acid is the missing puzzle piece for many people seeking health. Whether you are fighting an infection, rebuilding health, or desire anti-aging strategies, add fulvic acid daily to help your body absorb and use needed nutrients. Take advantage of this powerful electrolyte and antioxidant.

Increase cellular voltage to increase health and energy

Fulvic acid has highly active carbon, hydrogen, molecular oxygen (available oxygen) and enables better electrolyte balance. It recharges cells allowing them to carry an electrical charge longer than normal and survive longer as a cell.

Your body must get enough electrons to keep cells at a healthy, healing voltage. While proper nutrition is a critical piece, it is not enough without voltage. This is where fulvic acid comes in to help. Fulvic acid brings molecular oxygen into the body, increasing the oxygen concentration.

CareyLyn Carter, biochemist and researcher said in an interview, “Fulvic acid molecules act like mini-batteries, going around and charging everything that it comes in contact with. It raises the voltage. When our cell’s membranes are fully charged, nutrients can get inside the cell more easily. When nutrients are inside cells they are available for biochemical processes that support our wellness.”

A closer look at fulvic acid for skin conditions, cancer and brain health

Fulvic acid improves skin conditions

Fulvic acid has anti-inflammatory properties.

A randomized, double blind, controlled study showed that fulvic acid significantly improves inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema with topical use, twice daily. It has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for skin infections, and would be useful for humans and animals. [xiv]

It was found that fulvic acid reduces the pH of the skin, relieves the itch and improves the appearance of the skin rash. [xiv] FA relieves inflammatory skin conditions. [xxxvii]

Fulvic acid has antimicrobial properties and is a safe and effective topical treatment for skin infections. [xxxvi] Previously studies were cited supporting the use of fulvic acid and humic substances for wounds, rashes and fungal infections.

Fulvic acid has anti-cancer actions

Fulvic acid and the humic compounds are potential cancer chemopreventive agents [xxvii] and have been shown to induce cancer cell apoptosis. [xx]

Fulvic acid and humic substances have actions that combat certain cancer risk factors:

  • free radicals (fulvic acid acts as an antioxidant) [v][xliii][xxx]
  • toxins and heavy metals (fulvic acid bonds to and removes toxins and heavy metals) [xviii][vii][xxiii]
  • UV Radiation (fulvic acid is a photoprotective agent) [xxiv]
  • diabetes (humic substances showed hypoglycemic effects in animal studies) [xxxv]
  • inflammation (Winkler and Ghosh stated in a 2018 review study “there is substantial evidence to pursue FvA (fulvic acid) research in preventing chronic inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.”) [xxxix]

Huang showed that fulvic acid suppresses resistin. High levels of serum resistin are associated with several types of cancer and is thought to play a role in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) by initiating the adhesion of colorectal cancer cells to the endothelium. FA inhibits the adhesion of CRC activated by resistin.[xvii]

Fulvic acid is neuroprotective and gives brain benefits

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, published a study in 2011 that concluded, fulvic acid “has several nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairment.” Researchers showed evidence that fulvic acid inhibited the formation of intracellular tangles of tau protein, seen in Alzheimer’s disease. [ix]

How to supplement with fulvic acid

Natural sources of fulvic acid

As discussed, conventional food production methods are destroying microbes in the soil, therefore it is imperative to eat the highest quality, organically grown food possible to increase the fulvic acid content and nutrient content of the food.

Organic vegetables

It is possible to get fulvic acid from plants, provided that they have been grown organically, in fertile soil, rich in humic substances. As you know from the earlier discussion on current agricultural practices, this is very difficult to find these days so most people benefit from taking fulvic acid as a supplement.

The best organic vegetables, in terms of fulvic acid, are the root vegetables like radishes, carrots and beets, but there is no way to know for sure that you are getting adequate fulvic acid from your diet.

Organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses from sugar cane

Another source of fulvic acid is organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses from sugar cane. This sweetener provides a good source of minerals and fulvic acid to aid in mineral absorption.

Fulvic acid supplementation

If you are taking any medication, please consult with your healthcare provider for contraindications. While fulvic acid is safe, there just are not enough studies on using fulvic acid with medication.

Take fulvic acid daily as part of your health rejuvenation regimen.

As fulvic acid supplements are being added to the market in a variety of forms, the consumer must be aware that not all fulvic acid supplements are equally safe. Fulvic acid is available in liquid preparations or powder supplements and capsules. It is believed that liquid forms are more bioavailable.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a fulvic acid supplement:

  • Source. It is important to know that the fulvic acid was not obtained from brown coal (lignite) or deposits from a source contaminated with heavy metals like aluminumleadmercury and arsenic. Look for a product sourced from high quality humic shale.
  • Extraction. Look for fulvic acid extracted with pure, distilled water (not tap water) and no harsh solvents.
  • Water. Tap water containing chlorine and fluoride must never mix with fulvic acid or any of nature’s nutrients as harmful compounds can form. Find out if your fulvic acid provider uses tap water in their supplement preparation.
  • Potency. Will the supplier provide lab-verified data about their potency.
  • Preservative-free, ideally.
  • Glass packaging. Using any type of plastic in the extraction or bottling of fulvic acid is dangerous because the fulvic acid breaks plastic down. Plastic is a petroleum-based substance and will contaminate fulvic acid solutions.

Fulvic acid is a natural, water soluble substance that can be combined with liquids for oral consumption and it can be used topically. Follow directions from the manufacturer of the product you choose, and consider different options for use:

  • Combine fulvic acid with other plant compounds, like spirulina in water, to enhance the benefits.
  • Add fulvic acid to a smoothie or antioxidant superfood supplement drink.
  • Take fulvic acid with herbs, medicinal mushrooms or essential oils suitable for internal consumption.
  • Topically, use fulvic acid in a natural healing salve recipe including plant extracts known to support the skin’s healing.

Should you add fulvic acid to your daily health regimen?

The choice is yours. I believe that we need to supplement with fulvic acid now in order to harness the ability to get more nutrient absorption, increased detoxification, and increased electrical potential.

This may be the missing puzzle piece and help explain the dramatic increase in chronic disease that people of all ages are experiencing. The information on fulvic acid resonated with me the first time I began hearing about it. When that happens, I cannot keep silent – for who knows whether you and I have come to this information for such a time as this.

Originally published: 2019-11-06

Article updated: 2019-11-07

Vitamin D3

Written by Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, Health Researcher.

Health Facts on Vitamin D3 – the Natural Cure for all disease!

Why we need Vitamin D3
First, to help absorb calcium and other minerals to build strong bones with the help of Vitamin K2 that keeps calcium in bones instead of in blood where calcium plaques form.
Second, to build the immune system, in conjunction with gut bacteria – the other half of the immune system story.
Depending on which study we believe, optimal vitamin D3 can prevent between 50% and 90% of all cancers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis, and reduce the intensity or even cure almost every other disease.
If a drug company developed something that would do this, it would make headlines around the world and win a Nobel prize, and many billions of dollars would be saved in the health care budgets of countries everywhere.
If the entire population had optimal Vitamin D3 combined with a healthy diet, countless lives would be saved from cancer, many illnesses would disappear, most artificial replacements of hips and knees would not be required, thousands of people clogging up the nursing homes in their wheelchairs would be out playing tennis and leading active, productive lives.
Have I convinced you yet that just a few dollars for a year’s supply of super-strength 5000 IU Vitamin D3 would be a good investment in your future?
If not, then perhaps you should go and reserve that spot in the nursing home, and pick out the burial plot while you’re at it!

Benefits of Vitamin D3

Studies show that Vitamin D3 has cancer inhibiting properties, especially breast, prostate, pancreas, colon, skin cancer and leukaemia.
While millions are spent trying to find a cure for cancer, Vitamin D3 could be used to prevent cancer in the first place, at a cost equivalent to a drop in the ocean.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies can cause the following:
Colds and flu:
Vitamin D3 helps prevent or reduce severity of colds, flu, and almost every other infection. LeanMachine is living proof. After 10 years of taking Vitamin D3, no colds, no flu, no infections of any kind, not even a headache!
When we look at studies funded by drug companies who manufacture vaccinations, which are always biased in favour of the flu shot, the NNT (Number Needed to Treat) for the flu vaccine is 40, meaning that to protect one person from getting the flu, 40 people must receive the vaccination. Compare this with Vitamin D3, where the NNT is 33 in the average population, and in those people with D3 deficiency, the NNT drops to 4. In other words, for the average person, D3 is significantly better than the flu shot, and for those with low Vitamin D3, D3 supplements work 10 time better than the flu shot!
Most infections are naturally destroyed by our own immune system, mainly the T-cells, but T-cells need Vitamin D3 to operate correctly.
Studies funded privately, without the influence of the drug companies, have foud the flu shot to be even less effective, with those over the age of 65, or under the age of 2, or those on statin medications, all receiving NO statistically discernible benefit from the flu shot, and everyone else receiving a very marginal benefit such as a reduction in duration of illness of about 1 day.
On the downside, those taking the flu shot every year received less benefit (less protection), and actually INCREASED risk of coming down with a different strain of the flu!
More on vaccinations under the heading below.
OA (Osteoarthritis)
Osteoarthritis (OA)is the most common disease in people over age 50, more common than the common cold, and especially in women.
OA is directly linked to Vitamin D3 deficiency, and higher Vitamin D3 levels lower the risk.
Studies show that hip fractures in high risk population groups can be reduced by up to 40% by supplementing with Vitamin D3.
Partly because bones are stronger, and partly because people with good Vitamin D3 levels have much better balance and stronger muscles, so don’t fall over as much.

RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and MS (Multiple Sclerosis) appear to have the same link.

Obesity
Most Australians (two thirds) and others in Western society are overweight or obese.
Two thirds of people in Western society are also deficient in Vitamin D3, and this is no coincidence. There is a direct link between Vitamin D3 deficiency and obesity.
On average, the more Vitamin D3 deficient a person is, the more obese they are.
Healthy levels of Vitamin D3 are seen mainly in lean, healthy people.

Chronic pain
Chronic pain from any source can be reduced with Vitamin D3, even a simple headache, migraine, back pain, fibromyalgia, etc.
Many people with osteoporosis have chronic pain, typically lower back pain, often a sign of D3 deficiency.
Those people usually exercise less because of the pain, and insufficient exercise causes depression, worsens their osteoporosis, increases obesity, and their condition only gets worse.

Before 2010, LeanMachine suffered from headaches back pain and other pain, but no more. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, of course it hurts, and if I strain my back or another muscle, I feel stiffness that goes away in a day or two. But no other pain, no painkillers required, and in fact no painkillers of any kind kept in the house.

Cancer
Cancer is a devastating condition, but high levels of Vitamin D3 offer up to 80% or more protection, especially childhood cancers, breast, prostate, pancreas, skin and colon cancer.
A recent study confirmed that women with high levels of Vitamin D3 had about 85% reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is critical to the body’s production of GcMAF, a cancer-fighting protein that inhibits cancer metastasis, and is capable of reversing the devastating effects of cancer on the body. Vitamin D3 supports GcMAF synthesis, helping to shut down pro-cancer receptors and enzymes that encourage metastasis.
DBP-maf(Vitamin D3 binding protein-macrophage activating factor) is another protein reducing cancerous activity, which directly stimulates the immune response by suppressing angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) required for cancer cell migration and tumor growth. DBP-maf requires Vitamin D3 for transport in the bloodstream.

Depression
There are links between low levels of Vitamin D3 and depression.
For depression sufferers, LeanMachine recommends extra Vitamin D3 from sunlight because getting outside in the sun always lifts our mood. If we cannot get out in the sun, supplementation is a must.

Hearing Loss
Vitamin D3 deficiency weakens our bones, but when the three tiny bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup) in the ear become weak and spongy, attenuation of sound transmission results in hearing loss.

Allergies
Recent studies show that children with allergies have a high chance of being deficient in Vitamin D3, and those with the worst allergies, are over 80% likely to be deficient in vitamin D3.

Heart disease
The number one killer of Western society people is still cardiac disease.
Vitamin D3 deficiencies bring on high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Number two is cancer, so we can alleviate both killers easily by eating a healthy diet and getting enough Vitamin D3 from sunlight and/or supplements.

Type 1 diabetes

Pregnant women who are deficient in Vitamin D3 are far more likely to produce offspring with Type 1 diabetes.
Any child deprived of sunlight in the first few years of life also has a far higher risk of type 1 Diabetes.

How do we get Vitamin D3 ?

We get Vitamin D3 from the sun, but we need the basic building-blocks in the body first.
The normal process of Vitamin D3 metabolism can be stopped by the deficiency of one single nutrient, so a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is essential.
In particular, we need cholesterol, which has been demonised for decades. More on this later.

Vitamin K2 – No Bones without it

Some people say we need Calcium for strong bones, but we get plenty of calcium from the diet, and we can absorb calcium with no problems as long as we have enough Vitamin D3.
No vitamin D3 means no calcium absorption, so adding more calcium to the diet without vitamin D3 means potential for calcium to form as plaque in our arteries, kidneys or other places where it will only damage the body.
Vitamin K2, which comes from animal products such as chicken, cheese, butter, eggs, etc, can help build bones by directing calcium to bones and teeth where it belongs, and helps keep our arteries, kidneys and other organs free from calcium.
The only vegetable source of Vitamin K2 is Natto (fermented soy), which explains why Japanese post-menopausal women have much stronger bones than Western women, as Natto is part of the traditional Japanese diet.
Vitamin K2 is not to be confused with Vitamin K (or K1), which is required for effective blood clotting, but not as effective as Vitamin K2 for bones, but still desirable in the diet.
K1 comes from intestinal bacteria as well as from green leafy vegetables like kale, spring onions, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, basil, asparagus, also prunes.
For vegetarians or vegans, supplementation of Vitamin K2 is essential as well as D3 for healthy bones. Vitamin D3 metabolism is complex, where each essential and critical nutrient provides the path to the next step, and one missing link in the chain will stop the entire process.
So it is no surprise that a third of our population is deficient in Vitamin D3, and around 90% are less than optimal. Unfortunately, these are the people who are at the highest risk of cancer.

Importance of Diet

Vitamin D3 cannot form without basic nutrients for the multi-stage process and this explains why so many people are deficient.

D3 – A Vitamin or a Hormone?

The answer is both.
It is a hormone (a chemical messenger) because it controls cells, organs, muscle and bone in everyday function, and because the body can manufacture it with sunlight exposure on skin.
It is a vitamin because it binds calcium so we can absorb it, as we humans cannot digest calcium without Vitamin D3, which maintains calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood, providing minerals for bones, nerves, muscles, immune function, and lowers inflammation.
Many cell functions are controlled in part by vitamin D3, aiding in weight loss, blood glucose regulation, metabolism, and essential fatty acids (Omega-3) processing.
There is no point taking calcium or omega-3 foods or supplements without a good supply of Vitamin D3.
Almost every cell in the body has Vitamin D3 receptors, so Vitamin D3 is a crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D, D2 or D3?
The terms Vitamin D and vitamin D3 are used interchangeably here. D3 is the correct and natural Vitamin D.
D3 exists in the body as the storage form 25(OH) and the active form 1,25 2(OH). Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is an artificial version of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), or vitamin D coming from some foods.
D2 has very low affinity for DBP (vitamin D binding protein) so it cannot be easily stored and should never be used.
Firstly, D2 has nowhere near the healthy properties of D3 (cholecalciferol), and secondly, D2 tends to block absorption of the real D3.
Many foods come “fortified with vitamin D” but this is invariably an artificial D2 with poor benefits.
Some early medical studies on vitamin D used inferior synthetic D2 which is toxic at much lower doses, and unfairly discredited the real D3 which was not even being used in the studies.

How is Vitamin D3 made?

We get vitamin D3 from sunlight, food or supplements.
D3 from sunlight
Most people know we get Vitamin D3 from sunlight, but there is a multi-stage process involved.
Production starts in the liver, which makes 7-dehydrocholesterol, which then migrates to the skin to be altered by UVB (ultra-violet light in the B range) to become pre-vitamin D3.
This is carried back to the liver to be mediated by an enzyme (25-hydroxylase) to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D, where a hydroxy (OH) molecule is added to build the storage form 25(OH).
This is then transported to the kidneys to be mediated by yet another enzyme (1-alpha-hydroxylase) to finally become calcitriol, where a second hydroxy (OH) is added. This is the active form of vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol or 1,25 dihydroxyvitaminD3 or the active form 1,25 2(OH). Dihydroxy means that the D3 molecule has two OH molecules added, one from the liver and a second from the kidneys.
Vitamin D3 is carried in the blood by DBP (vitamin D-binding protein).
This entire process takes around 15 days, so if we shower every day, we “wash off” most of the pre-vitamin D, so morning showers are best, allowing the pre-vitamin D to start the migration back to the liver before the next shower.
And a day at the beach won’t help our vitamin D3 if we go for a swim, and worse if we get sunburnt!

Statins rob our Vitamin D3

As we age, we lose the ability to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight, and those on statin medication (half the aged population) cannot make 7-dehydrocholesterol, co-enzyme Q10, Cholesterol Sulfate and other important requirements for the body, because when statins slow the liver production of cholesterol, all of the above are affected.
No one should ever take a statin drug (Lipitor, Crestor, Simvastatin and others) other than exceptional circumstances, as they generally do much more harm than good.
Independent studies show that while some deaths from heart disease are reduced, deaths from ALL OTHER CAUSES is INCREASED by statin medication! Taking statins, we will generally not live one day longer, and will have a poorer quality of life.
Also as we age, we generate less stomach acid, losing the ability to take in B12, Methyl Folate (never Folic Acid!), Vitamin K2 and other nutrients that vitamin D requires to do it’s job. If we get reflux or heartburn, doctors normally prescribe Nexium or antacids, which may relieve symptoms short-term, but only make the problem worse. The best way to cure heartburn is to eat less, and eat an alkaline-forming diet, but that is another story in my Alkaline Diet article.
Those who dress fully covered for cultural reasons or those with dark skin always need more vitamin D.
Annual blood tests for vitamin D3 are advisable if taken at very high doses as excess levels can become toxic.
For adults, toxic levels for vitamin D3 are generally not seen unless we take in some 40,000 IU daily for many weeks.
Vitamin A can also be toxic in high levels, but if A and D are taken together, the toxic levels are some 5 times higher for both A and D, giving a huge margin of safety, so old “toxic levels” should really be called “imbalance levels”.
Another factor is Vitamin K2, discussed later.

Other things that Steal our Vitamin D3

Being overweight – the more overweight we are, the less bioavailable Vitamin D3 becomes. But if we take Vitamin D3 supplements and/or get more sunshine, this will assist our weight-loss efforts!
Being old – as we age, our ability to absorb D3 from sunlight and from food reduces, so supplementation becomes more essential.
BPA (Bisphenol A) – BPA (Bisphenol-A) and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals reduce our Vitamin D3 levels. Avoid foods in plastic or cans and use glass containers.
Liver problems – a poor liver produces less bile, which reduces absorption of Vitamin D3. Look after the liver – avoid excess alcohol and eat a healthy diet of quality fats, few carbohydrates, and low to moderate protein.
Kidney problems – as kidney disease gets worse, so do Vitamin D3 levels. Look after kidneys by drinking plenty of clean water and eating a healthy diet
Gut bacteria – these 100 trillion organisms are a major component of our immune system, and also aid in absorption and processing of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin D3. People with celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Crohn’s disease, or those taking antibiotics, will all have reduced D3, so essential supplements are Vitamin D3 and probiotics.
Slip, Slop, Slap in the face campaign – this disastrous campaign has been running for over 30 years in Australia, costing the taxpayer many millions of dollars, and has caused many more millions in extra health care, more disease, and many more lives lost.
True, reduced sunlight has reduced the number of mostly harmless skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which are easily treated, and rarely turn into something more serious (less than 1% of cases).
But the number of MELANOMA cancers – the real, deadly kind, has DOUBLED, but this fact has been hidden by the Australian Cancer Council who are behind the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign! The primary reason, of course, is lack of Vitamin D3 due to reduced sunlight, reducing immunity.
Melanomas also appear on the soles of feet, in armpits and other places where sunlight is very limited, but so-called “specialists” still blame the sun!
The science cannot be denied. The closer one lives to the Equator, the less chance of any type of cancer, a proven fact.

Too much sunlight?

If we get D3 from sunlight, then surely if we spend all day in the sun, like construction workers and other outdoor activities, we should get plenty?
Wrong. After we spend around 10 to 20 minutes in the sun in the middle of the day (90 minutes for dark-skinned people), we reach a point where the body will no longer synthesise any more vitamin D3.
This is the way the body is designed to prevent toxic levels from building up, and also the reason why we get a tan – to prevent too much vitamin D3 from the sun.
If our skin starts to get the slightest shade of pink, it is time to cover up or seek some shade, as more sun will only then cause damage, with no extra vitamin D3 past that point.
And if we get a healthy dose of sunlight one day, we can happily work inside the next day, as it may take 2 days to build new skin resources for more absorption.

The Morning Myth

The cancer society and other “health” organisations all say the we should avoid the sun in the middle of the day, and only go out in the morning or the evening when the sun is low in the sky. Wrong again!
This is actually the complete reverse of the truth!
The sun produces ultra-violet rays in three bandwidths, named UV-A, UV-B and UV-C, each with different properties.
UV-A
We get UV-A from all sunlight, no matter what time of day, and it passes through cloud and glass, and this kind travels deeper into the skin, causes skin damage and ZERO vitamin D production.
We can sit by a window or in a car with windows up, on a hot sunny day and never get any vitamin D.
We can be outside all day when there is cloud cover, but we will never get any vitamin D.
All we get from UV-A is skin damage.
UV-B
We get UV-B ONLY from a clear blue sky, and ONLY when the sun is HIGH in the sky. This is the “good” sunlight, as this is the ONLY kind that gives us vitamin D.
When the sun is lower in the sky, most UV-B is absorbed in the atmosphere leaving little or none for our benefit.
We need 10 minutes a day (fair-skinned) to 20 minutes a day (tanned) with the sun high in the sky, no clouds, and no glass. This can give us all of the vitamin D we need, but for many, this is impossible.
For those living a long way from the equator, or out of the tropic areas in winter, those working shifts or indoors, those who cover their entire bodies for religious reasons, or slap on sunscreen, those who have very dark skin, those on statin medication, those on a poor diet, those confined to hospitals or nursing homes and others who mistakenly believe the sun is evil, will never get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning that if we get plenty one day and miss the sun for a few days, we will still be able to call on our vitamin D reserves stored in fat cells.
Of course, UV-B will still damage our skin if we stay out in the sun too long.
UV-C
UV-C rarely gets to Earth as it is almost completely absorbed in the atmosphere, so is of little concern unless you are an astronaut.

Why we NEED sunlight, more than just for Vitamin D3

The human body is designed to thrive in sunlight, and it is not only the Vitamin D3 benefit.
A 20-year study of over 29,000 people found that those avoiding sun exposure had double the death rate from all causes!
This study did not measure D3 levels, but results from other D3 studies show that the high death rate from insufficient sun exposure can not be accounted for only by low Vitamin D3.

We also get Cholesterol Sulfate from sunlight on the skin.
Cholesterol sulfate protects red blood cells from breaking up. Without enough cholesterol sulfate, we get a condition called hemolysis, where the red blood cells die prematurely, spilling their contents into the blood.
Without sulfur, and without the sun, we cannot make cholesterol sulfate, a molecule which is both fat-soluble and water soluble, which is essential for the body to distribute cholesterol and sulfur throughout the body.
All artery walls have an endothelial lining, and these endothelial cells cannot work correctly when depleted in sulfate. They cannot control what gets into and out of cells, which promotes cardiovascular plaque.
Cholesterol Sulfate, in conjunction with it’s nitric sister, eNOS, determines how thick or thin or blood becomes. Sulfate makes it thicker, nitric makes it thinner, and this automatic regulatory system works very well as long as we have supplies of both, for which we need sunlight.
Interestingly, one thing that messes up these molecules is glyphosate (“Roundup” and other weedkiller trade names) so this is a good reason to avoid all GM (Genetically Modified) foods, which are all heavily sprayed with glyphosate.
Sulfur is incredibly important for health. Cholesterol sulfate protects against bacterial and virus infections and strengthens the immune system.
Cholesterol sulfate is essential for babies. Women normally have about 1.5 units of cholesterol sulfate in the blood, but in pregnancy, levels rise in the villi of the placenta to around 24 units!
Foods high in sulfur include eggs, beef, garlic, onions, sprouts, asparagus, kale, coconut oil, olive oil, but only where they are grown or raised in sulfur-rich soil (think organic).

Vitamin D sulfate is also made from sunlight, and is both water and fat soluble, so it can go anywhere in the body, distinct from the regular fat-soluble Vitamin D3 I have been talking about. Same with cholesterol sulfate. Not only is it both water and fat soluble, it can travel through the body on it’s own, where many other substances need to be “carried” by cholesterol wherever they need to go.
If we want healthy blood, we MUST have sunlight!
Humans make several other important peptide and hormone “photoproducts” when skin is exposed to UVB sunlight:

  • β-Endorphins are natural opiates that induce relaxation and increase pain tolerance
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptides are vasodilators (expand blood vessels) that protect us from hypertension (blood pressure), vascular inflammation, and oxidative stress
  • Substance P is a neuropeptide that increases blood flow and also regulates immune system response to acute stressors
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, controlling cortisol (stress hormone) release by the adrenal glands, regulating immune system and inflammation
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone is a polypeptide hormone, reducing appetite, increasing libido, and increasing skin pigmentation

Sunlight contains a beneficial EMF (electromagnetic frequency) that is essential for health.
40% of sunlight is infrared, and the red and near-infrared frequencies interact with CCO (Cytochrome C Oxidase). CCO is a protein in the inner mitochondrial membrane, also part of the electron transport chain. CCO is a chromophore (a molecule that attracts and absorbs light), so sunlight improves ATP (the generation of energy). The optimal wavelengths for CCO are red at 630 nm to 660 nm (nanometers) and near-infrared at 810 nm to 850 nm.
LeanMachine gets sun exposure as often as possible. Others afraid of the sun may consider photobiomodulation therapy (use of near-infrared light treatment).
UVA exposure is generally considered harmful, as this is the most damaging kind of exposure for skin with no ability to generate Vitamin D, however there are benefits such as releasing NO (Nitric Oxide), discussed above. An important cellular signaling molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
This is closely tied to another molecule, eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) which regulates the “thickness” of blood. When blood becomes too thick, eNOS makes more nitric oxide which expands blood vessels and thins the blood. When blood is too thin, eNOS makes more sulfate. Sulfate is essential for the endothelial lining of all blood vessel walls. If we are low in sulfate, the wall can start breaking down and clots start to form to repair the damage. We can get more sulfur in the diet from onions, garlic, broccoli, egg yolks and other foods, or by supplements such as MSM (MethylSulfonoyl Methane) but we still need sunlight to make cholesterol sulfate which can be distributed through the body to keep us alive!

Apart from photoproducts, nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate production, sunlight is essential for our circadian rhythm (body clock). Sunshine activates neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, sending signals to the pineal gland which regulates production of the hormone melatonin. When the circadian rhythm is upset, melatonin and other hormone production is disrupted, leading to mood problems, poor cognition (thinking), metabolic syndrome (leads to diabetes) and increased risk of cancer.

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are famous for increasing risk of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Tanning beds have been outlawed in all States of Australia, except in the Northern Territory, where they are still legal, but there are no commercial solariums there because the tropical climate makes sunlight tanning easy. However, this is seen by some as a knee-jerk reaction by politicians to win votes.
Most tanning beds produce UV-A and UV-B radiation, but some better units are available which produce only UV-B, which are much safer if used correctly.
Staying too long in even a quality tanning bed will cause skin damage, a precursor to many forms of skin cancer. Tanning beds that emit high levels of UV-A should be avoided completely.

Vitamin D3 from food

We get some vitamin D from the diet. Eggs, fish, cod liver oil are all good sources, and also come naturally with Vitamin A, but it is almost impossible to get enough D3 from the diet, so we must top up our D3 from sunlight or supplements or both. Milk contains some vitamin D, but calcium and vitamin D in milk are very poorly absorbed. Asian women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, so doctors claim this is caused by low milk consumption, but Asian women are much less likely to have a hip fracture (the worst kind), indicating that traditional DEXA scans (bone density tests) do not mean much, as dense bones are often not as strong as less dense but more flexible bones.
Africans generally have stronger bones than caucasians, even though they get less vitamin D3 from sunlight. They appear to be much more sensitive to the sunlight they do receive.

VitaminD3 from supplements

Most Vitamin D3 sold in Australia from chemist shops or supermarkets contain 1000 IU which may be enough to prevent rickets in young people, but is nowhere near optimum for immunity and bone strength, especially in older people, and not enough for anyone except small children to have an optimal immune system.
LeanMachine recommends Vitamin D3 5000 IU daily for almost a year’s supply, and this is the cheapest health insurance anyone can buy!
Vitamin K2 is also recommended, as this combination helps put calcium where it belongs, in bones and teeth, and reduces calcium buildup in blood vessels (arterial plaque).
Vitamin A is also recommended for health benefits as well as to eliminate any chance of toxicity.

No Cholesterol means no Vitamin D3

As explained above, cholesterol is the building-block for vitamin D3, also for every hormone in the body and many other functions.
About half the adult population over 60 in Australia and the USA is taking statin medication.
Sold under many names including Simvastatin, Lipitor, Advicor, Lovastatin, Mevacor, Vytorin, Zocor, Lipex, Simcor, Crestor, Pitavastatin, Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin, Fluvastatin, and Cerivastatin (withdrawn 2001).

The Lies about Cholesterol

Statins do lower cholesterol, but we NEED cholesterol, it is NOT the enemy it is made out to be. Yes, cholesterol is found in a badly inflamed body, but this is because the liver makes more cholesterol to repair damage caused by the inflammation, which is the REAL cause of poor health.
Statins reduce cholesterol by preventing the liver from producing as much cholesterol, but the job of the liver is to make cholesterol as required.
If we eat cholesterol foods (such as meat or eggs) the liver makes less, if we eat no cholesterol (such as a vegan diet), the liver makes more, which is the way it should be.
When statins are used, they attempt to shut down this natural process, and in so doing, also shuts down co-enzyme Q10 which is vital for healthy muscles.
And the heart is the most important muscle in the body – why clobber it with statins?
Statins also stop production of 7-dehydrocholesterol, so then we get almost zero vitamin D3 from sunlight.
Statins have shown no benefit to women whatsoever in many studies.
For men who have had a heart attack, statins have shown a slight reduction in deaths from future heart attacks, but in all patients, statins cause an INCREASE in deaths from all other causes!
Because statins knock out our Co-enzyme Q10 (often called the spark-plug for the heart), the patient can suffer extensive muscle damage, causing pain, reduced mobility and even death.
Drug companies say they have no idea what causes this increase in death from statins, but the answer is obvious to me – low vitamin D3!
Studies show that treatment with one fish oil capsule daily prevented 9% of deaths in cardiac patients over 4 years, while those given the Crestor statin drug had an INCREASED death rate of 1% over the same period.
The Framingham study, the biggest and longest study ever, showed that those with the lowest cholesterol died first, and those with the highest cholesteol lived longest!
But the drug companies continue to perpetuate these cholesterol lies to maximise profits from their biggest-selling drug.

How much D3 do we need?

The older we get, the more vitamin Vitamin D3 we need.
The only way to know how much we have is by a blood test, because ethnic background, skin colour, amount of tan, food, medication, supplements, geographic location, sun exposure, clothing, sunscreen, exercise, BMI and many other factors determine how much Vitamin D3 we absorb and retain.
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so daily levels do not vary much, as every fat cell in the body can store D3.
Always ask the doctor for a printed copy of your results so you can compare with any previous test and also get a true reading.
Unfortunately, most Australian labs say we need 60 to 160 nmol/L of D3, which is inadequate. Better labs say 75 nmol/L is the minimum, but we need more.
Values above 60 will prevent us from getting rickets, but will not give us good immunity.
For optimal immune system function, we should aim for the high end of the range of 125 to 175 nmol/L.
If we are battling cancer or some other serious disease, we should aim for 175 to 250 nmol/L but this requires careful monitoring and extra Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A to prevent toxicity.
Supplement values vary, and the RDA (recommended Daily Allowance) of 60 IU was alarmingly too low, and changed to 400 IU, originally determined as the minimum amount to prevent rickets.
Even the 400 IU allowance typically gives a blood test of 40 to 60 nmol/L which may barely stop rickets but will not provide a strong immune system.
Conservative studies determine that infants less than one year old need 400 IU daily, 1 year to adolescents need 400-600 IU daily, adults need 400-600 IU daily, and adults aged over 70 years need 400-800 IU daily.
More modern studies recommend babies take 400 IU, children 1000 IU, adults 4000 IU, and those over 70 may need 8000 IU daily.
Small doses are fine for strong bones, but for a strong immune system to ward off all disease, high doses are a must.
LeanMachine has taken 5000 IU daily for over 10 years, and has zero colds, flu or any other illness, not even a headache!

But don’t I get my Vitamin D3 from Milk?

Sorry, but you do not!
I was told to drink milk as a youngster, some 6 decades ago, and milk does indeed contain vitamin D and calcium, but these and other nutrients in milk are poorly absorbed in the gut.
Worse, pasteurised milk has most of the nutrients heated out of it, and homogenisation is very BAD for our health.
Homogenisation is a process making each fat globule 10 times smaller than normal, to save us the trouble of shaking the milk container to disperse the cream. The problem then is that these tiny fat globules then enter the bloodstream through imperfections in the gut lining, often referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”. When raw milk fat enters the blood directly like this, the immune system detects this as a foreign substance, and begins attacking these fat globules, and marks them as invaders. Now when we consume milk the regular way, and absorb it naturally through a healthy intestine, the immune system starts attacking this as well, as it has already been recognised as a foreign invader. The result: Allergies to Lactose, one of the main ingredients in milk, has reached epidemic proportions in the last few decades where homogenisation has become standard practice. Vitamin D3 can help stabilise an over-reactive immune system, but the only safe way to drink milk is to only use NON-HOMOGENISED milk. Most supermarkets have it, but you have to look past the big-name brands to find it.
In many countries it is against the law to buy non-pasteurised milk, but we can at least buy non-homogenised milk if we feel we must have milk (and we do not need milk).
Some Asian countries have diets where milk is non-existent, and their bones are stronger, and broken bones are rare.
We get more useful Vitamin D3 from broccoli and other fresh vegetables than from milk!
Milk is also BAD for our bones, as it is acid-forming in the body, and all acids in the blood cause an immediate reaction in the body to neutralise the blood acid (otherwise we die!).
This reaction, controlled by the parathyroid glands, leaches potassium, calcium and magnesium from bones, teeth and organs, the fastest way the body can neutralise the acid.
If we must drink milk (and we do not have to for a healthy diet) then the ONLY milk to buy is FULL CREAM, UNHOMOGENISED milk, which you can find at good supermarkets if you look hard enough.
The only better product is the milk straight from the cow, or better still straight from mother’s breast (most mothers will not be impressed if you ask for milk this way!)

Getting enough of the right Vitamin D3

Sunlight is still the best way to get enough Vitamin D3 and Cholesterol Sulfate, but for many, this can be difficult or impossible.
Supplements are the next best choice, but the supplements we buy at Chemist shops or supermarkets in Australia have only around 1000 IU of Vitamin D3.
They are also often combined with Calcium, which LeanMachine does NOT recommend, but that is another story.
While this is better than nothing, most people require 5 to 10 times this much to bring their levels to “optimum”.
For most health specialists, “optimum” means over 60 or 75 nmol/l (30 ng/ml), and if your results come in at over this threshold, the doctor will say you are fine.
However, true experts in this field say that truly optimum for a normal healthy person for immunity to disease, is between 125 and 175 nmol/L (50 – 70 ng/ml).
For those recovering from a serious disease, optimum should be 175 to 250 nmol/L (70 – 100 ng/ml).
Vitamin D3 can be toxic at high doses for extended periods, so continuous levels over 250 nmol/L (100 ng/ml) should be avoided.
Blood tests are advised for all very high-dosage patients.
People most at risk of deficiency are the elderly, those with with dark skin, those who cover their body with clothing or sun screen, or work night shifts or underground and never see the light of day, and those who live furthest from the equator or in cloudy climates.
Those at risk may need 10,000IU daily supplements, the rest of us can usually get plenty with 5000IU, and the very young who get plenty of sunlight on a regular basis may not require any.
Remember that we only get Vitamin D3 from sun in a blue sky when the sun is high, from the UVB (Ultra-Violet light in the “B” range”).
When the sun is low in the sky, or when there is cloud, or when the light comes through a glass window, UVB is blocked and we only receive UV-A which is the damaging, cancer-causing radiation with Zero Vitamin D3 benefits.
Other tests: Depending on the condition, the doctor may order other tests to check for liver and kidney disease as well as a full blood count.
A full blood test for Vitamin D3 is:
25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25-D or D2/D3) or 25(OH)D or simply 25-D
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3, or 1,25(OH)2 D3, or 1,25 2(OH), or simply 1,25-D
Most doctors will only test for 25(OH)D which is the storage form, which is fine for most people.
For those suspected of having Sarcoidosis (a rare condition) then both must be tested, and vitamin D supplementation and sunlight should be avoided altogether unless the active form 1,25(OH)2 is tested low.

Vaccinations

There are many reports of children suffering from Autism and other serious conditions after vaccinations.
Vitamin D3 supplements should be taken for at least 1 week before any vaccination to reduce risk of unfortunate reactions.
Panadol, Panadeine, Paracetamol, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Atasol, etc must NEVER be taken before or after any vaccination, even though doctors incorrectly recommend it to reduce pain and fever.
Autism rates in the USA are 1 in 45, while Autism rates in Cuba are 1 in 12,000.
A few decades ago, Austism rates were only around 1 in 200, before Panadol (Tylenol, Acetaminophen in the USA)
Cuba has a high vaccination rate of 97%, but the difference:
These over-the counter pain medications are prescription-only items in Cuba.
Of course, no drug company is interested in conducting a study where the result may be that their “safe and effective” product causes Autism, but as far as LeanMachine is concerned, Vitamin D3 reduces the risk of sickness from almost any disease.
Besides Autism, Panadol can destroy liver function (most patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol), and Panadol is also acted upon by enzymes which then destroy the body’s reserves of L-Glutathione, the natural “Master Antioxidant” in the body.
If you want your child vaccinated anyway, DO give them vitamin D3 and DO NOT give them any pain or fever medication.
A little fever is the body’s way to fight the toxins in the vaccination and the best way to deal with it is to let it run it’s course.
However, a very high fever can lead to convulsions, especially in small children. The best way to bring down a very high fever is to place the child in a cool to lukewarm bath and keep water over the skin using a sponge or cloth.
No drugs required, and much safer and more effective than any drug.
Better still, vaccinations can be avoided altogether for those with a strong immune system.
For more information on vaccinations, see this article: Vaccinations.

Autoimmune conditions

Allergies, hives, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, etc, are all autoimmune conditions.
Little help is available from medications which merely help to ease symptoms.
Vitamin D3 builds the immune system and protects us from colds, flu and other diseases, but Vitamin D3 is also an Immune Moderator, helping to dampen the effect of the immune system over-reacting, the cause of auto-immune disease.
Vitamin D3 can also help treat the cause of the symptoms, often Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), found in over 70% of autoimmune patients.
H. pylori can invade the gut via contaminated water or food, or from contact with infected people or animals, causing gut inflammation, disrupting the immune system.
Vitamin D3 effectively destroys H. pylori and restores the immune system, often reducing allergy symptoms by 30% in seven days, and another 40% in 12 weeks.
H. pylori infects around 30% of adults in the western world, more if we are over 60 with low Vitamin D3 levels.
A blood test can give your D3 levels, but the lab will say 60 to 75 nmol/L is OK, but we need 125 nmol/L minimum to destroy H. pylori.
Mushrooms, eggs, wild-caught salmon, etc have natural Vitamin D3 but the modern Western diet is lacking in these. Mushrooms grown in the dark will have no vitamin D3, but 30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight can generate significant D3 levels.

Vitamin D3
The latest science Says: “It’s not just about bones, it’s about your total well-being!
Professor Michael Holick:
We now think that maintaining adequate Vitamin D3 levels are important for decreasing the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
There is some evidence that in young children if they are fortified with vitamin D3 from 12 months old it can reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes by 80%“.
Professor Philip Sambrook:
We have always thought it could not happen in Australia – it is too sunny a country. However, people do not get sunlight for various reasons and if you do not get some sunlight you do not make vitamin D3. We do not get it much in food any more so for that reason, deficiency is quite common. And the vitamin protects healthy cells while also killing cancer cells.”

LeanMachine online supplements

Note: This online supplement shop is now closed, but each product page contains a link to the best supplier of that product.

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:

  • Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
  • RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the
  • World
  • University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging
  • Populations
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
  • TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
  • TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
  • Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
  • Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
  • WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
  • WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
  • Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain

LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 11th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Imagining a 5G Future: Where Fantasy Does Not Meet Reality

© 15th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/imagining-5g-future-where-fantasy-does-not-meet-reality

Posted on: Sunday, September 15th 2019 at 12:30 pm

Is the next generation of wireless the last? While industry says 5G is the promised land, concerned citizens say it’s an impending global catastrophe

Spend two minutes on any telecommunications website, and you’ll quickly discover (in blazing fast speed, if you’re lucky) that 5G is poised to save humanity from impending doom, while ushering us all into a symbiotic, utopian society.

Or so they’d like you to think.

Qualcomm, a global leader in technology innovation, claims that 5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, “will elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices.” With promises of 100% faster data rates, 10-year battery life, and network latency reduced to 1-10ms, industry’s expansive vision of a 5G world is seamless, boundless, and sci-fi chic. This pristinely sleek interconnected matrix will purportedly power a burgeoning digital economy, integrate humanity and artificial intelligence, and ultimately, transform our lives for the greater good.

It’s amazing that the next generation of wireless technology could hold these magical keys to unlock universal bliss, collective prosperity, and world peace. 4G certainly didn’t promise such riches. I guess we’ve come a long way in a single “G.”

But grandiose prophecies aside, just how pristine and sleek is our 5G reality?

Ericsson, a key player in setting the 5G requirements and standards for this new eco-system, forecasts by 2023, we will see 9 billion mobile subscriptions, 1 billion 5G subscriptions, 20 billion connected IoT devices; with 75% of all mobile data traffic dedicated to video, and 20% of the global population covered by 5G. But all of this requires a massive infrastructure buildout of what industry terms “small cells” to be installed on street lights, utility poles, building facades, bus stops, and trash cans in neighborhoods and cities around the world. The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) projects that 80% of all future infrastructure deployments will be small cells, reaching 800,000 small cells in the U.S. by the year 2026 (there are 154,000 cell towers today).

At the local, state, and federal level, new legislation and new zoning laws aim to streamline the installation of these 5G “small cell” antennas in public rights-of-way. The FCC’s 5G Fast plan overrules community authority at almost every level, requiring cities and states to approve new 5G antennas within 60 or 90 days, while setting limits on the siting fees that localities may charge carriers. In response, the U.S. Conference of Mayors issued a statement strongly opposing the federal usurpation of local and state government property rights. Two dozen cities, including San Jose CA; Huntington Beach, CA; and Seattle, WA, have filed law suits against the FCC, over these controversial rules.

So how’s all this 5G romanticism really going down in cities and towns across the nation?

Miami: On the Frontlines of the Grotesque 5G Rollout

In Miami, Florida, the scene is less than ideal. According to a report in the Miami Herald, residents have been spotting unsightly and clunky three-foot long black cylinders and cables hanging from trees, haphazardly strapped to utility poles with caution tape, resting on front lawns, and sitting on sidewalks. With new concrete poles going up around the city; black splice cases strewn about on the ground or attached to trees; and stray wires and cables dangling from powerlines and out into public walkways, it appears to be a blundering state of disarray.

 

These random containers, along with nests of wires and cables, present more than just an aesthetic blight to the community. It’s really a question of safety. Does this half-installed equipment represent an electrical danger? Can residents be certain that these exposed wires are not yet live? What about the safety of children and animals at play? Or the potential for unsuspecting residents to trip and injure themselves on this obstacle course? Or ensuring accessible sidewalks for those in wheelchairs and walking baby strollers? And this is all toward the goal of … what exactly? Strapping on a VR visor for an immersive shopping experience at your favorite downtown retailer?

In a follow-up September 5, 2019 Miami Herald article, Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins is quoted as saying, “It’s a 5G fiasco… Downtown is the epicenter of a land grab by the telecommunications companies… There’s no respect for residents, businesses, art in public places or our history… It’s a mess and it’s coming to your neighborhood next. Get in front of every building you can.”

On May 7, 2019, Miami county commissioners voted unanimously to permit AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Crown Castle Fiber to attach small cell antennas to county property on public rights-of-way, including wood and metal poles, utility cables and streetlights. Their goal is to bring 5G wireless to Miami in time for Super Bowl LIV in February 2020.

An article in Miami Today cites, ‘Because they transmit at shorter distances than the larger traditional cell towers, small cells must be no more than 300 feet apart to work properly. That means many will have to be installed over the next 10 months to meet the Super Bowl deadline.” In order to accomplish this, the Miami Transportation and Public Works department has been working with the telecoms in “an ongoing process probably for about four years” to streamline and expedite the review processes.

Miami is not the only locale with augmented kick-off dreams. In September 2019, Verizon announced its new 5G network launch in NFL stadiums across the U.S., with 13 stadiums to be live by the start of the 2019-20 football season, including: Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers), Empower Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos), CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks), Ford Field (Detroit Lions), Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts), MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets), M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens), NRG Stadium (Houston Texans), Soldier Field (Chicago Bears), and U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings).

According to CNet, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg called the project “a key moment in our partnership with the NFL.” But the NFL’s football fantasies are just one niche in the exponentially growing list of industries that will profit from 5G and IoT. No wonder Qualcomm cites 5G as a $12.3 trillion opportunity in economic growth.

But what about public health? Should caution and science be thrown to the wind simply so fans can interact with a life-size, digitized Tom Brady as he throws his 577th touchdown pass?

As such, citizens around the world have been protesting the 5G rollout, citing a mounting list of health and privacy concerns. With growing awareness of the health impacts of wireless telecommunication technologies and the neighborhood densification of small cells, communities are starting to organize, and policy makers are starting to take action. Many cities and towns across the United States have already issued resolutions and ordinances calling for further research in advance of new infrastructure deployment.

On April 3, 2019, the commissioners of Hallandale Beach, Florida passed a resolution urging the state legislature and federal government to initiate a study of the health effects of small cell towers built to accommodate 5G technology and to develop installation guidelines protecting the health and welfare of residents. This is the first such resolution passed in the state of Florida addressing 5G.

Carolina Lavayen, founder of Stop 5G Florida, worked with Commissioner Michele Lazarow once she noticed new cell towers were being installed in residential areas as well as city streets without public consent or notice to residents. Lavayen explains,

“We are being bombarded with electromagnetic frequencies and radiation that we cannot see with the naked eye. Already 4G is causing major biological havoc on all life including humans, animals, insects, trees and our crops. Man-made frequencies disturb our cells’ natural electrical communication system. The planned 5G world-wide wireless network is pushing this issue to a whole new level of saturation with cell towers approximately every 300 feet, and with everyone eventually upgrading to 5G-compatible devices. 5G is a wake-up call to take action: stand up for our basic human rights and learn how to best thrive in our ever-developing, telecom-controlled, electro-polluted ecosystem.”

In Marin County, California, several communities are actively engaged in encouraging elected officials to pass ordinances that protect cities and towns from the adverse effects of 5G technology and to help maintain local control and decision making. A safe technology activist in Marin explains,

“It’s important to build relationships with your local government. Find out who is in charge of decision making on this issue, whether that’s the mayor, staff, or the town council. Meet with them one-on-one. Talk to them about your concerns, and share that they can easily create strong legislation that is legally defensible, focused on many factors in addition to health, and they do not have to be afraid of the FCC. Their ability to maintain local control and represent the interests of the public is critical. Tell them that there are precedents and examples of protective ordinances in other communities and provide examples. Remind your elected officials that have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. and State Constitutions, and in doing so, protect the health, well-being, and privacy of the community. Ask them how they are going to protect you.”

Several state representatives have spoken out to demand the FCC provide evidence of safety, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Representatives Anna G. Eshoo and Jackie Speier (CA), Thomas Suozzi (NY), and Peter A. DeFazio (OR). Americans for Responsible Technology has launched the 5G Crisis “to call on wireless companies (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile) and their sub-contractors (Crown Castle, ExteNet Systems and other antenna installers) to suspend the deployment of small cell wireless antennas near places where people live, work and play until such time as their technology can be made safe for everyone.” Around the U.S., communities from Bethesda, Maryland, Long Island, New YorkAsheville, North Carolina, to San Diego, California, and Kauai, Hawaii have held protests to halt 5G.

Globally, international actions are also underway, with a spotlight thrown to Brussels, the first major city to halt the deployment of 5G due to health effects. As of September 2019, more than 240 scientists from 42 nations have signed The 5G Appeal which calls for a moratorium on the rollout of 5G. The Appeal asserts that, “5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.” In addition, international protests have been held from Israel to SwitzerlandSpainItalyIreland, the UK and Australia.

While on the surface 5G appears to be a flashy new technology capable of rendering obsolete any vestiges of disconnection, inefficiency, and boredom, what nonetheless lurks beneath is a battleground between local versus federal governance, an epic corporate power grab, and a culture of surveillance capitalism. Add to this the overarching violation of human rights, along with blatant disregard for both public health and environmental protection… and sure, let’s pretend lightning-speed video streaming is tantamount to all existential concerns.

Before we get lost daydreaming about a fantastical 5G future, perhaps we should take a long hard look at the harsh reality of our flawed pre-5G present. The fifth generation of wireless technology hasn’t come to full fruition yet. The question is: should it?

Get access to all 40 talks immediately (for 7 days) at our new evergreen portal for the 5G Crisis Summit! https://the5gsummit.com/7-day  

Visit the GreenMedInfo database on Electromagnetic Fields to see how emerging wireless technology can negatively impact health.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Radical Innovators Are Trying to Transform Health Care

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – October 06, 2019
Reproduced from original article:
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/10/06/radical-innovators-trying-to-transform-health-care.aspx

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The U.S. health care system is riddled with inefficiencies. With an annual budget of $3 trillion, it’s the largest industry in the United States, so there’s financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well
  • Price gouging, overtreatment and fraud are yet other problems plaguing the U.S. health care system, contributing to its inefficiency
  • Many prevention strategies and simple, inexpensive treatments are ignored and not used for the fact they do not generate income for the doctors
  • Switching the incentive model is part of the answer. Hospitals that pay their doctors a salary and bonuses for patient health outcomes see significant improvements and have lower health care outlays
  • Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania prescribed prediabetic and diabetic patients fresh, whole food, along with treatment and educational support. As a result, they reduced the annual cost for Type 2 diabetics by 80%

Travis Christofferson — who has a premedical undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in materials engineering and science — has written two excellent books about health. The first one, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer,” helped me understand the profound influence of diet in cancer.

Here, we discuss his latest book, “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System,” which addresses questions such as: “What has happened to American health care?” and “What are the foundational disruptions or corruptions in the system?”

His book, in some ways, is based on the theory promoted in the book and subsequent film, “Moneyball.” It describes how you can use statistics to massively improve a flawed system. Christofferson explains:

“I’d been invited to speak at a small charity event in London. The speaker who went right after me was Dr. Ndabezinhle Mazibuko. He was at this startup clinic called Care Oncology in the U.K.

The idea behind this clinic was that there are drugs that have gone off patent that have [other uses], but they’re unrealized. They’re undervalued in the system. One of these drugs is metformin in the use for cancer.

There’s this vast body of data to suggest it can improve cancer outcomes, but there’s no good mechanism to get this on the prescription pads of doctors. It just doesn’t happen. There’s a flaw in the system.

To address this flaw or this underappreciated argument, they opened this clinic and then prescribed a combination of four drugs that showed they had synergy, very few side effects and the best chance to [improve] outcomes. The cost of the drugs is about $60 per month …

I agreed to open a clinic in the U.S. to help them start in the U.S. I opened it up in my small town, Rapid City. We started doing telemedicine as well to address the rest of the country. I arranged the time to speak at our local cancer center, to present what we were doing to the local oncologists.

My hope was that they would see the value in it and refer patients to us, especially patients with dire cancers, like glioblastoma, where there are few good treatment options. This is such a low-risk intervention that it had a good potential to help …

Immediately when I was done … one of the oncologists just lit into me. He accused us of taking advantage of desperate patients. Then he brought up, ‘Why would you prescribe a medication for Type 2 diabetes for cancer?’ Another oncologist in the room in the corner said, ‘Well, I do that.’

What struck me in that moment is you can have these medical doctors in the same room that have a profound disagreement on data that we have just gone through. If this is the case, what are the inefficiencies in the health care system? That was the original spark for the book.”

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Identifying the Inefficiencies Within the System

Michael Lewis’ book, “Moneyball,” showed how, within a simple game of baseball, you can have massive inefficiencies. By taking away the human biases and just applying statistics to find what is undervalued in that market, you can massively boost the performance of a team (in the book, it was the Oakland A’s, which had a tiny budget).

“In health care, we have a massive disparity in valuation — how we value treatments,” Christofferson says.

“As I said, metformin has got massive repositories of data to suggest you can ward off not only cancer but a plethora of chronic disease, but it’s the price of a nickel a pill and very rarely gets prescribed for these other indications … [‘Curable’] is an examination of these huge disparities in health care and why it’s gotten so out of control in the U.S.”

The health care system is the largest industry in the United States. It has an annual revenue of $3 trillion. So, there’s a financial motivation to capitalize on expensive treatments, even if they don’t work well, and that’s a significant part of the problem. Price gouging is another related problem. Overtreatment and plain fraud are yet others.

Christofferson suspects these issues may account for half of all health care costs. One answer is to focus more on undervalued treatments and low-cost prevention — both of which could help prevent cost escalation. In his book, Christofferson recounts a number of stories demonstrating this.

Drug-Free Treatments Save Money

One such example is Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania. For Type 2 diabetes, they introduced the Fresh Food Farmacy. In a nutshell, patients with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes are given a prescription for fresh, whole foods. Patients are allowed two free meals a day and recipes, along with intensive care and educational support.

As a result of this program, Gelsinger Health was able to reduce its per-year outlays and cost for Type 2 diabetics by a whopping 80%. “It only cost them $2,600 a year,” Christofferson says.

“What interests me about that is they didn’t leave out the human component. They made sure that the patients’ families [were] engaged. They gave free food to the families so they can all cook together. Pretty soon, when people have this level of engagement and feel like they’re part of a system, they start asking questions.

‘What else can I do? Can I exercise? How do I stop smoking?’ Not only is it changing their health status, but it’s changing the way their families view health and what they do about it. To me, there are these wonderful examples of places, these pockets that are doing extraordinarily good work.

The other one I focused on is Intermountain Health Care which, shockingly, if you … extrapolated their system to the rest of the U.S., we would see a 40% reduction in health care costs immediately.”

The Overwhelming Power of Incentives

Another fundamental issue that really needs to be addressed is the physicians. Most medical students pursue medicine for the right reasons. But then they get brainwashed into a single-minded focus on drugs and surgical intervention, and aren’t given the education and tools to address the actual roots of disease.

What’s more, once they’re done with their schooling, they’re a few hundred thousand dollars in debt, which they need to pay off. And then they go into a health care system where they’re given just 10 to 15 minutes with each patient. It’s a system that is designed to fail right out of the gate.

“As I wrote this book, what I kept coming back to was the overwhelming power of incentives,” Christofferson says. “Our system is so flawed with regard to incentives. The biggest offender of that, by far, is the fee-for-service system, where we demand our doctors get paid for every test and procedure that they do.

This creates a terrible incentive for them so that they have to think like businessmen … If there’s a marginal procedure and you have a financial incentive to do it, perhaps you’re going to do it. This leads to overtreatment.

There’s a brilliant example of that in the book. This was actually done by Atul Gawande. He wrote about this in The New Yorker. McAllen, Texas, had two times the Medicare utilization compared to the national averages — $15,000 per person.

And it wasn’t specific to that demographic region, because if you went to El Paso, up the border, it’s the same demographics, but it was half the cost there. He flew down there to ask why. What had happened was the doctors had just developed this entrepreneurial culture where they almost competed with each other financially …

Really, their focus was money. Just putting a pen to paper and writing that article had a sterilizing effect. Suddenly, the regulators came in. They looked at all the fraud that was going on. There was, I think, $20 million fines levied. The overutilization started to drop …

When you look at the high-quality providers, like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, they put their physicians on a salary. The marketplace will reward that behavior because now you can see the data … [At] the Mayo Clinic … if they don’t need surgery, they won’t get one. The doctor has no financial incentive to operate.

So, the incentive structure is entirely backwards. That’s the underlying theme of this book. We really have to take a look at human incentives and what drives human beings; how they make mistakes. We can design systems around that to do better.”

The Success of Intermountain Health

Intermountain Health, for example, places their doctors on salary, and gives them bonuses based on health outcomes. They also assess the differences between treatments to see which works best.

For example, they discovered that inducing delivery in pregnant women led to more babies being born with respiratory problems. Guidelines for inducing labor were entered into the electronic medical record, which led to a drop in early inductions from 30% to less than 2%. This resulted in babies born with fewer respiratory problems.

Another example: Patients are always given antibiotics before surgery, but it’s never been established when the optimal time to administer the drugs is. Intermountain compared medical records, finding the optimal time was two hours before surgery, which cut their surgical infection rate by over half.

The History of Medicine

Christofferson’s book also addresses some of the history of medicine, and the advent of controlled clinical trials. Historically, the practice of medicine was largely dependent on the doctor’s experience and personal ideas.

“Hippocrates said that a physician’s judgment matters more than any external measurement. This really guided medicine in the beginning, in the 1700 or 1800s,” Christofferson says.

“I was shocked to learn that the first well-conducted trial was in the ‘40s … That’s how far [medical science] lagged behind. And then all of a sudden, it kind of exploded because they shifted the patent structure to where over-the-counter drugs were separated from patented drugs.

This launched pharmaceutical companies into a for-profit venture. They took over the randomized control trials … That was the gold standard to determine if a therapy was good, if it was going to be approved by the regulatory bodies in the world.

Today … the pendulum has almost swung too far to where you have to have this randomized control trial and Food and Drug Administration approval for a therapy to be good.”

Novel Science That Might Extend Life Span

In the interview, we also discuss a few side tangents, such as cellular reprogramming therapies under investigation. David Sinclair, Ph.D., refers to the use of what’s known as Yamanaka transcription factors, which can be used to reedit your genome to reset the epigenetic clock and the DNA methylation. As explained by Christofferson, who has looked into this research:

“I’m completely fascinated by it. I think it’s not known as widely as it could be. Longevity science is focused on caloric restriction. That’s the reliable way to extend mammalian lifespans … Epigenetic rejuvenation is outside of that …

When you think about humans, about all life for that matter, we are essentially immortal in the fact that we take our aged germ line cells and we recombine them through the process of fertilization to create a new life. That life is biological age zero when it comes into being.

How does that happen? The way that happens is it takes 23 chromosomes from the mom, 23 from the dad. There’s a process in the egg that wipes off the processing of the software. The software in the genome is the epigenome. There’s molecular tags on our DNA that are wiped clean and new ones are put on. This kicks off the process of embryogenesis.

In the process, it resets the aging clock. Now we’re starting to learn that you can do this, you can take a cell … and put it in a Petri dish, add these factors — there are four factors involved in this process — and you will reset the epigenome back to age zero … Potentially, now it’s a therapy. You can inject this back into them.”

The Influence of Lifestyle and Social Connection

Christofferson also points out science showing that inherited genetics account for a rather small portion of our health and longevity potential — about 20%. The remaining 80% is predicated on environmental variables, factors such as toxic exposures, certainly, but also love and interpersonal relationships.

“All of these things we experience day to day have an impact … Our epigenome changes the way genes are expressed. This has a massive impact on our health.

We know this because of identical twin studies … When you track them over time, their destinies are very different. They very rarely die of the same diseases. This nurture aspect, this 80%, that’s the part we have control over …

I looked at that in the book. What misconceptions do we have under these kinds of medical biases? What are our misconceptions as individuals about our own health? … What are the most important factors to stay healthy and live a long life?

We always think of diet, exercise and genetics … [but] the biggest factor is your social life and how engaged you are in the world — the number of close friends you have, social integration. How many people have you talked to throughout the day? Did you say hi to the mailman? Did you talk or chat with people at the gym? That’s got a massive influence on your immune system.

When you’re lonely, you have this sort of corrosive inflammatory response. But when you’re not lonely, your immune system has a more targeted response. Inflammation, as we know, is the root cause of so many cardiovascular disease, cancer and so many chronic diseases.

That’s kind of why these blue zones get so much attention. That’s the constant variable … People are connected and they’re surrounded by each other all the time. [The blue zones] is where you have … 10 times the number of centenarians than you do in North America.”

Indeed, epigenetic programming, which is dependent on environmental factors, far outweigh the influence of your genetics, and it does this in a very specific way. It’s usually through transcription factors that either methylate the DNA (put small one-carbon molecules on the DNA), which essentially silences that specific genome, or they acetylate it, which activates those genes.

Depending on the combination of shutting off and turning on of genes, you get the expression of the genome. So, it’s not what you’ve inherited, but your expression of the genome that’s so important, and this is really how these lifestyle factors influence your genes.

“The good news about the epigenome is it’s able to be manipulated,” Christofferson says. “We can change it, from lifestyle factors all the way to these Yamanaka factors that kind of reset it back to a younger age.”

More Information

In short, the fact that epigenetic factors control so much of your health and longevity potential is powerful motivation to make simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes. Basics include sleeping well, choosing the right foods, choosing when not to eat (time-restriction eating), exercising, getting plenty of sunshine, and addressing loneliness and stress.

These are simple basics that pretty much everyone could apply to radically improve their health and avoid the medical care system, which is fraught with hazards. While medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the U.S., the greatest hazard is the fact that so many doctors fail to understand what the foundational cause of disease is.

By failing to address the root of disease, they are causing premature death and needless pain and suffering in a majority of the population. As noted by Christofferson:

“The numbers are scary. I think it’s 200,000 die every year from medical error. I learned that 7,000 people die from sloppy physician handwriting. If you’re in the hospital for four weeks, you have about a coin-flip chance of developing C. diff, which is a horrible, horrible intestinal infection.

Anytime you can stay out of that system, [you avoid] not just the financial but the very real health risks. We didn’t even touch on the overtreatment and cancer that is so rampant …

We’ve had such a focus on early detection for cancer. We’ve gotten much better at it. However, that hasn’t changed the death rates at all. But it’s led to an incredible amount of overtreatment, unnecessary treatment, because most of these tumors are not dangerous at that point.

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer from a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, you’re 47 times more likely to receive damaging treatment — chemotherapy, surgery or radiation — than you are to have your life extended …

My editor said something to me while I was writing the book that I thought was beautiful. You can be your own culture of one when it comes to health. Just do these very simple things … and just being with other people. That, in and of itself, is health care.”

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators Is Trying to Transform Our Health Care System.” I really enjoy the way he tells the story and makes it a very readable book.

 

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Blood Tests – How to read the results

By Brenton Wight – LeanMachine, Health Researcher, updated 13th January 2020

Blood Tests – They May Save Your Life!

Blood tests should be carried out with your annual checkup, or any time you have a medical condition

Urine tests are also common, but many are inaccurate, because they only tell us what has left the body, not what is currently available in the body to feed our cells and keep us in good health.
Urine tests are included here where appropriate and where the results can be useful.
Important:
ALWAYS get a printed copy of your tests. The Doctor cannot refuse as the results belong to you.
Unfortunately, Doctors often only look at results outside the “normal range” and disregard everything else.
There are several problems here.

  • There can be potential problems buried within the “normal range”
  • The “normal range” is an average range for a person of the same age and sex as you, not accounting for weight, height, body fat, muscle mass, and general physical condition
  • The “normal range” given does not indicate if the low end, middle or high end of the range is optimal
  • The “normal range” does not always inform you of changes over time within the range which may indicate a better or worse diet, health or impending sickness, etc
  • The “normal range” includes a lot of sick people, skewing the results

For example, the “normal range” for vitamin D3 is 60 to 160 nmol/litre for most Australian labs (some labs now say 75), but the OPTIMAL range is 125 to 175 nmol/litre, with the preference at the high end of the range.
When the results come in at 61, the lab says you are fine, the doc says you are fine, but your immune system is nowhere near the optimum level!
Another example is TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). The “normal range” is 1.0 to 4.0 but anything over 2.0 is certainly undesirable, and may indicate a hypothyroid condition, going un-diagnosed because the lab and the doc both agree “you are fine”.

Reference Ranges

Some labs indicate “Reference Range”, other labs may indicate “Normal Range”, “Reference Intervals”, “Desirable Range”, “Healthy Range”, Target Range”, “Average Range”, “Suggested Range”, “Optimal Range” which all sound similar, but actual values may vary.
Reference ranges are calculated by the lab as what 95% of the “normal” population conform to (2 standard deviations for you mathematicians).
However, in the 95% of the population who are considered “normal”, we have some sick, healthy, athletic, frail, obese, slim, old, young people of different ethnic backgrounds, occupations, environments, exposure to toxins, which can skew the test results, along with many other factors such as male or female.
Just because we fit into the reference range, it does not mean that we are in the best physical condition.
And for the 5% (or 1 in 20 people) who are outside this range, but still considered “normal” their results are questionable, whether they are at the healthy or unhealthy end of the reference range, which can be a high or a low number, depending on the test.
In some tests, a small margin over or under the reference value can indicate a problem, and in other tests, we can be several hundred times the reference range before we have a serious condition.
The labs will do their best job to calculate the reference range for our age and sex, sometimes weight, sometimes our medical condition, but that is all.
Every lab uses their own terminology, their own test equipment and their own numbers, so typical results may vary.
USA labs often use different units for measurement compared to Australian and other countries, so we must always look at the units as well as the numbers.
Many labs are now trying to standardise in SI (Standard International) units.
It is a good idea to use the same lab each time so that any changing numbers over time can be used as clues to various medical conditions or changes in health.
Many labs who upgrade their equipment and/or software will give two sets of results, pertaining to old and new systems.

Some Conditions Diagnosed by a Blood Test

Malnutrition

Even though we eat much more than our ancestors, modern foods are often devoid of nutrients due to repetitive farming practices, over-processing, over-heating, and the addition of toxic chemicals, trans fats, sugars, etc which all contribute to bad health and a reduced ability for the body to absorb nutrients from food.
Many prescription medications, especially antacids and PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors like Nexium) make this problem even worse by REDUCING stomach acid.
The body NEEDS stomach acid to absorb nutrients AND to make vitamin B12, an important part of the digestion process.
We can have a full stomach, but be starved of nutrients without adequate stomach acid.
People with lap-band or similar surgery, or who have part of the stomach or intestines removed due to disease or cancer, or who have damaged gut bacteria from antibiotics or other prescription medication,
or who have taken antacids or PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors), or who have a diet poor in nutrition, will have poor absorption of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc and can easily suffer from malnutrition.
Malnutrition itself can skew the results of other blood tests, and doctors do not always take this into account, as most assume malnutrition cannot exist in modern society.

Cardiovascular Disease

High LDL cholesterol with low HDL cholesterol, combined with high triglycerides is a warning sign of future heart attack or stroke, and diet must be improved to reverse this condition.
These tests are not part of a normal blood workup so we should ask the doctor for a “lipid study”.

Tumours or Cancer

Cancer tests are described under the Cancer Tests heading near the bottom.

Abnormal White Blood Cell Count and/or Platelet Counts

May indicate Leukemia, with early treatment promoting better recovery.

Diabetes

Diabetes, or even pre-diabetes, can be caught early with a simple blood glucose test.
This condition is easily controlled with some very basic changes to the diet, combined with regular exercise.
Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to blindness, amputations, heart attack, stroke or death.

Allergies or Parasites

Blood tests can reveal these problems, and simple steps are required to correct these conditions.

Infections

Infections can spread, causing a lot of damage, but are easily treated if diagnosed with a blood test.

Anemia

Can be caused by many things including internal bleeding, kidney disease, malnutrition, vegan diet, etc but can usually be simply treated.

Thyroid Problems

The thyroid controls many other hormones in the body, but problems can be found easily with a blood test.
This test must be asked for, as it is not included in a typical blood workup.

Symptoms requiring a blood test

  • Unexplained Tiredness
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Unexplained pain
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • A long time since the previous test

Preparing for the test

Your Doctor will arrange the test. Ensure that you ask the following:

  • Do I have to fast?
  • Can I drink water?
  • Do I continue my prescription medication?
  • Do I continue my supplements, vitamins, minerals?
  • If I am on blood-thinning medication, what precautions are required?
  • Have I donated blood recently, or can I soon?
  • Please give me a printed copy for my own records when the results are available.

If the test is a fasting test, arrange a time early in the morning for the test so you can follow up with a nourishing breakfast afterwards.
Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours before the test.
Avoid fatty foods at the last meal before the test.
If all of the results are “within the normal range” it does not mean you can now forget everything.
Compare all results with previous tests, and keep results to compare with the next tests.
If you still have some unexplained condition, there may be repeated tests, new tests, ultrasound, x-rays, CT, MRI or other tests required.
Even if you are feeling fine, look up your previous test results.
If you do not have these results, ask the Doctor – previous records should be on their database, as they are generally e-mailed from the lab.
Compare the results line by line to check if any levels are getting better or worse. Some results will give a higher or lower number,
but check details below on each individual test to work out if this means getting better or getting worse.
Discuss all results with your Doctor, and if you cannot get useful answers, find another Doctor!

Some of the many different Blood Test Measurements and abbreviations

Some Australian (SI), some USA measurements.

  • cmm – cells per cubic millimeter
  • g/L – grams per liter
  • g/dL – grams per deciliter (1/10 of grams per liter)
  • IU/L – international units per liter
  • mEq/L – milliequivalent per liter
  • mg/dL – milligrams per deciliter
  • mL – milliliter
  • fL – femtoliter, 10-15 Liter, or one thousand trillionth (one quadrillionth) of one liter.
  • mmol/L – millimoles per liter
  • ng/mL – nanograms per milliliter
  • pg/mL – picograms (one-trillionth of a gram) per mL (milli-litre)

The standard CBE (Complete Blood Exam), also called CBC (Complete Blood Count) or FBE (Full Blood Exam)

This is the most common test ordered by the Doctor – by no means complete, but can isolate many common problems.
This test determines red blood cells, various white blood cells, and platelets in the blood.
Do not consider these figures absolute, as different labs and different countries and different ages and sexes of patients have different ranges.
Not all labs do all of the tests.
Not all doctors ask for all of the tests.
Many of the tests are for specific diagnosis or monitoring of some disease or condition.

The Red Blood Cell Test Group

Hb or Hgb (Haemoglobin)

Normal values for adult males: 130 to 170 g/L (13.0 to 17.0 g/dL), adult females: 120 to 150g/L (12.0 to 16.0 g/dL)
OPTIMUM values for adult males: 140 to 150 g/L (14.0 to 15.0 g/dL, adult females: 135 to 145g/L (13.5 to 14.5 g/dL)

Adult males after middle age: 124 to 149 g/L (12.4 to 14.9 g/dL), adult females after middle age: 117 to 138 g/L (11.7 to 13.8 g/dL)
This is the iron-containing component of red blood cells which carries oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body, and gives the red cells their bright red colour.
Low Haemoglobin levels often indicate Anaemia.
Hemoglobin must be evaluated with HCT (hematocrit), RBC and MCV to determine if there is fact anemia and the type of anemia.
Low Haemoglobin can be caused by:

  • Low production of red blood cells in the bone marrow
  • Low iron intake
  • Low folate and/or vitamin B12
  • Internal or external bleeding
  • Blood cell destruction
  • Chronic illness
  • Low testosterone
  • Vegan, vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet

High Haemoglobin can be caused by:

  • Dehydration (as in prolonged or severe diarrhea)
  • Emphysema, severe asthma, or other respiratory disease
  • Macrocytosis (enlargement of red blood cells, often caused by hypothyroid or liver disease or deficiency of B6, B12, folate)
  • Adrenal cortex over-activity
  • Polycythemia vera (bone marrow makes too many red blood cells)
  • Living at high altitude
  • Splenic hypofunction
  • Immune suppression
  • Testosterone supplementation

RBC (or RCC, R.B.C.,R.C.C.) – Red Blood Cell Count or Erythrocyte Count

Normal range: Adult males 4.5 to 5.5 x 1012/L, adult females 3.8 to 4.8 x 1012/L.
OPTIMAL range: Adult males 4.7 to 5.25, adult females 4.0 to 4.5.
Units are trillions (1012) per litre, or millions (106) per cubic mm (mm3) which both give the same result.
An estimate of the number of red blood cells per mm3 of blood.
Low RCC may indicate:

  • Anaemia
  • Blood loss, internal or external
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Iron deficiency
  • Copper deficiency
  • Over-hydration
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow)
  • Malnutrition
  • Cell damage
  • Iron deficiency (with a low MCV)
  • Vitamin B6, B12, and/or Folic Acid deficiency (with a high MCV )
  • Chronic Disease
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Kidney dysfunction (also abnormal chemistry tests, BUN, creatinine)
  • Hereditary anemia
  • Free radical pathology
  • Toxic metals
  • Catabolic Metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Erythropoietin deficiency, typically those with chronic kidney disease
  • Hemolysis, or RBC destruction caused by transfusions and blood vessel injury
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Cortisol production dysfunction
  • Chronic bacterial infections

High RCC may indicate:

  • Lung disease
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Living at a high altitude
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Adrenal cortical hyperfunction (either too much cortisol or too much aldosterone)
  • Anabolic Metabolism (testosterone supplementation)
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiovascular dysfunction
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney disease
  • Renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
  • Immune suppression
  • Transplant rejection drugs
  • Gentamicin and Methyldopa drugs
  • Performance enhancing protein injections and anabolic steroids
  • PV (Polycythaemia Vera) – genetic disease where bone marrow makes too many red blood cells

May help indicate the lifespan of the cells, and indicate problems, but may not indicate the actual problem, so other tests will be required.

Haematocrit, also called HCT or PCV – Packed Cell Volume

Normal Range: Adult males: 40 to 50%, adult females: 36 to 46%.
OPTIMUM Range: Adult males: 42 to 48%, adult females: 39 to 45%
Percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume.
Low PCV/HCT may indicate:

  • Anaemia
  • Blood loss
  • Low RBC
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Abnormal breakdown of Red Blood Cells
  • Increased production of WBC
  • Leukaemia
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Low thymus function
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow)
  • Over-hydration
  • Malnutrition
  • RA (rheumatoid arthritis

High PCV/HCT may indicate:

  • Shock
  • Immune supression
  • Excess RBC
  • Dehydration (typically burns or diarrhoea)
  • Eclampsea (a serious pregnancy condition)
  • Polycythaemia vera – bone marrow makes too many red blood cells
  • Spleen hyperfunction

MCV (Mean Cell Volume or Mean Corpuscular Volume)

Normal adult range: 83 to 101 fL (femtoliters).
OPTIMUM adult range: 87 to 92 fL
Some labs give results in cubic microns, which is identical to the range in femtoliters.
An estimate of blood cell volume, or average volume of red blood cells, or the average amount of space taken by each red blood cell.
May help determine the type of anaemia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Low MCV can indicate:

  • Copper deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Low stomach acid
  • B12 and/or Folate deficiency
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic disease
  • Lead or other toxins
  • Hereditary anemia such as thalassemia or sideroblastic
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Haemoglobin disorder
  • Blood cell destruction
  • Bone marrow disorder

High MCV can indicate:

  • Hereditary anemia
  • Alcoholism
  • Liver disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Bone marrow problems
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Problem with prescription medication
  • Megaloblastic Anemias (pernicious, folic acid deficiency, B12 deficiency)
  • Reticulocytosis (acute blood loss response. Reticulocytes are immature cells, relatively large in size compared to a mature red blood cell)
  • Artifact (aplasia, myelofibrosis, hyperglycemia, cold agglutinins)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Anti-convulsant drugs
  • Zidovidune treatment (for AIDS)

MCH (Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin or Mean Cell Haemoglobin)

Normal range: 27 to 32 picograms
MCH is a calculation determining the amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin inside the Red Blood Cells.
Results too high (usually Macrocytic anemia), often caused by too little vitamin B12 and/or folate, in turn often caused by low stomach acid or antacid use.
Macrocytic Red Blood Cells are larger than either normal or microcytic RBCs, tending to have higher MCH values.
The larger cells mean that there are fewer cells, and less haemoglobin is then available.
Results too low (usually Microcytic) may indicate Iron Deficiency Anemia, or a nutritional deficiency.
Normally MCH is elevated or depressed when MCV is elevated or depressed, and usually for the same reasons as MCV.

MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration)

Normal range: 315 to 345 g/L or often specified as 28% to 36%
OPTIMUM range: 32% to 35%
A calculation of the concentration of haemoglobin inside the Red Blood Cells.
Decreased MCHC values (hypochromia) are when haemoglobin is abnormally diluted inside the red blood cells.
Indicates anemia if the count is low, or possible nutritional deficiencies if high.
Typical causes are iron deficiency anaemia and in thalassaemia.
Increased MCHC values (hyperchromia) are seen in conditions where the haemoglobin is abnormally concentrated inside the red blood cells.
Typically seen in burn patients.
MCHC is increased or decreased in the same conditions as MCV is increased or decreased, except:
1. In spherocytosis (a fairly rare congenital disorder), MCHC is elevated
2. In pernicious anemia, MCHC is normal.

RDW (Red Cell Distribution Width or Random Distribution of red cell Width)

Normal range: 11% to 15%
OPTIMAL Range: 13%
Tests for the shape and size of red blood cells, but the term “width” refers to the distribution, rather than the size of cells.
Liver disease, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, and many health conditions can cause high or low RDW tests.
RDW can be increased in:

  • B12 and Pernicious anemia
  • Folic acid anemia
  • Iron deficiency anemia combined with other anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Transfusions
  • Sideroblastic anemia
  • Alcohol abuse

RDW can be decreased in:

  • Iron deficiency anemia (blood loss, parasites, poor iron absorption)
  • Vitamin B6 anemia
  • RA (Rheumatoid arthritis)

ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)

Also known as SED (Sedimentation Rate).
A measure of how Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells) sink in a pipette. The faster the blood cells sink, the higher the inflammation we have.
Inflammation creates proteins that make red blood cells fall faster, giving a higher test result.
The test reports the distance (mm) between the clear liquid (plasma) at the top of the tube and the red blood cells after 1 hour.
The normal range:
Males: 0 to 15 mm/hour
Females: 0 to 20 mm/hour
Seniors may have slightly higher readings.
High ESR can be caused by:

  • pregnancy
  • inflammation
  • infection
  • anemia
  • kidney or other cancer
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • polymyalgia rheumatica
  • giant cell arteritis (swelling in blood vessel lining)
  • systematic vasculitis (inflammation in blood vessels)
  • multiple myeloma
  • lupus (SLE or systemic lupus erythematotus)
  • IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Low ESR can be caused by:

  • polycythemia
  • sickle cell anemia
  • hereditary spherocytosis
  • congestive heart failure

The ESR test is recommended for patients with symptoms of headaches, stiff joints, pain in shoulders, neck or pelvis, appetite loss, unexplained weight loss.

Platelets

Most adults have between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per mcL (microlitre) of blood.
1mcL is the same as 1 cubic millimetre (mm3).
The OPTIMUM values are 230,000 to 400,000 per mm3.
Platelets are small portions of cells involved in blood clotting, continually made by the bone marrow, as each platelet survives only around 10 days.
Platelets stick together when we cut ourselves to form a clot to stop bleeding.
Too many or too few platelets can affect clotting in different ways, and the number of platelets may also indicate a health condition.
Low platelets (thrombocytopenia) can be caused by:

  • Bleeding
  • Alcoholism
  • HIV
  • Toxins
  • Inherited disorders like Wiskott-Aldrich or Bernard-Soulier
  • Bacterial infections
  • SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
  • RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis)
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Megaloblastic anemia (B12 and/or folic acid deficiency)
  • Hypersplenism (spleen takes too many out of circulation)
  • Leukaemia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Marrow depression (aplastic anemia, radiation, drugs)
  • Marrow infiltration (acute leukemia, carcinoma, myelofibrosis, multiple myeloma)
  • Prescription medications like heparin, quinidine, quinine, sulfa-containing antibiotics, interferon, anticonvulsants and gold salts
  • Immunologic (ITP, infectious mononucleosis (EBV), SLE, Lymphoma, CLL)
  • Dilution due to overhydration (drinking too much water)
  • Coagulation disorders (DIC, septicemia, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, TTP, large hemangiomas, heart valve, eclampsia)
  • Hypersplenism (over-active spleen, removing old blood cells too soon)
  • Platelet aggregation or large platelets
  • Rubella
  • Liver dysfunction (cirrhosis)

Idiopathic Cytopenic Purpura (ITP), a condition possibly related to viral infection, autoimmunity or chemical toxin.

High platelets (essential thrombocythemia) can be caused by:

  • Thrombocythemia (bone marrow makes too many platelets)
  • Gene mutations (Janus kinase 2 [JAK2] gene)
  • Infections
  • Iron deficiency
  • Hemolytic anemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells)
  • Acute blood loss
  • Splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen)
  • Tissue damage, chronic inflammation, surgery
  • Disseminated carcinoma (a condition where cancer cells are spreading)

Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)

Normal range: 7.5 to 11.5 femtoliters
This test measures and calculates the average size of platelets.
Higher MPVs mean the platelets are larger, which could put an individual at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Lower MPVs indicate smaller platelets, meaning the person is at risk for a bleeding disorder.

The White Blood Cell Test Group

WBC – White Blood Cells (or leukocytes, or sometimes leucocytes)

Normal Range: 4,500 to 11,000 WBC per mcL (micro-litre) of blood, average person around 7,000 (USA labs 4,300 to 10,800 cmm).
A high number can be an indicator of disease.
Part of the immune system which defends against infectious, disease and foreign bodies.
WBC’s live for three to four days in the body, and are found throughout the blood and lymphatic system.
WBC’s make up around 1% of the total blood volume in a healthy adult, and help fight infections. A high white blood cell count may help identify infections.
It may also indicate leukemia, which can cause an increase in white blood cells.
Too few white blood cells may be caused by some medications or health problems.
This test measures the numbers, shapes and sizes of various types of white blood cells.
The WBC differential count (percentage) shows if the numbers of different cells are in proper proportion to each other.
Irregularities may indicate infection, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, anaemia, or other health conditions.

High leukocytes (leukocytosis)

Typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection, the body responding my making more WBC’s.
Typical is bone marrow disease, leukemia, myelofibrosis, smoking, stress, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, whooping cough.
Also can be caused by reaction to some medications such as antibiotics, diuretics, corticosteroids, epinephrine and others.

Low leukocytes (leukopenia)

Caused by cancer, viral infections of the bone marrow, congenital disorders, autoimmune diseases which attack WBC’s, major infections which use up WBC’s faster than they can be produced, chemotherapy, AIDS, lupus, malnutrition, lack of vitamins, radiation, parasites.
Volume, conductivity, and granularity can change due to activation, presence of immature cells or malignant leukocytes in leukemia.

Five Major Types of White Blood Cells

  • Neutrophils – making up around 62% (can be 40% to 80%) of White Blood Cells, neutrophils attack bacteria and fungi, and live from a few hours to a few days.
    If given as the number of cells instead of a percentage, divide the number by the WBC (White Blood Cells) to get the percentage.
    The bone marrow makes neutrophils and stores them, to be released into the blood in response to physical stress or infections.
    Neutrophils contain enzymes which can break down bacteria, and also contain glycogen and protein for their own energy.
    High neutrophils increase the body’s requirement for protein to replace that used by the bone marrow to make more nuetrophils.
    High Neutrophils (Neutrophilia) can be caused by infection, inflammation, pregnancy, or physical stress (intense exercise).
    Low Neutrophils (Neutropenia) can be caused by B12 and folate deficiency, infections that destroy neutrophils, aplastic anemia, leukemia, autoimmune disease, hypersplenism (spleen enlargement), dialysis, some medications.
  • Eosinophils – making up 2.3% (can be 1% to 4%) of White Blood Cells, eosinophils attack parasites and allergens.
    High eosinophils normally indicate parasitic infections or allergic reactions.
    Low eosinophils can be caused by alcohol intoxication or excess cortisol production.
  • Basophils (also called basophiles, basophilic leukocytes, basocytes, basophilocytes, mast leukocytes) – making up 0.4% (can be up to 1%) of White Blood Cells, basophils release histamine for inflammatory allergic responses.
    High basophils may be caused by bone marrow disease, Chrohn’s disease, removed spleen, when inflammation is healing, asthma, chronic dermatitis, hypothyroidism, Hodgkins lymphoma.
    Low basophils can be caused by hyperthyroidism, allergies, pregnancy, ovulation, immune-suppressing drugs.
  • Lymphocytes – making up 30% (can be 20% to 40%) of the White Blood Cells, living for years as memory cells, months for other types.
    Normal range (adults): 1,000 to 4,800 lymphocytes in 1 microliter (µL) of blood.
    Normal range (children): 3,000 to 9,500 lymphocytes in 1 microliter (µL) of blood.
    Unusually high or low lymphocytes may cause no symptoms or problems on their own,
    and may be the body’s normal response to infection, inflammation or other condition, and often return to normal after some time.
    If there are other tests with unusual results, the doctor should look at all these tests together to determine if further invesatigation is required.
    If levels do not retern to normal, or keep progressing high or low, further investigation is required,
    as this may be diagnosed as lymphocytopenia or lymphocytosis, with symptoms from mild to severe, and the duration depends on the cause.Low lymphocytes (lymphocytopenia) may indicate:

    • Poor immune system
    • Lymphocyte cells are trapped in the spleen or lymph nodes
    • The marrow cannot make enough lymphocytes
    • Something is destroying the lymphocytes

    Some acquired causes of Low Lymphocyte Count:

    • Typhoid fever
    • Viral Hepatitis
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Tuberculosis
    • Aplastic Anemia
    • Myelofibrosis
    • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
    • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    • Dengue
    • Radiation and Chemotherapy

    Some inherited causes of Low Lymphocyte Count:

    • Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome
    • Ataxia-telangiectasia
    • DiGeorge Syndrome
    • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

    High lymphocytes (lymphocytosis) may indicate cancer, autoimmune disorder or severe viral infection.
    Lymphocytes are white blood cells that help defend the body from illness, consisting of three major types: B cells, T cells, and NK (Natural Killer) cells:

    • B cells – release antibodies that fight bacteria and toxins, also assist in activation of T cells
    • T cells attack cells that have been infected by viruses or malignancies, and consist of 4 sub-types:
      • CD4+ (Th or T helper cells) – activate and regulate B and T cells, release T cell cytokines to aid the adaptive immune system to recognise foreign invaders
      • CD8+ (cytotoxic T cells) – tumour cells and virus infected cells
      • γ δ (gamma delta) T cells – bridge between innate and adaptive immune responses (phagocytosis)
      • Regulatory (supressor) T cells – return the immune system to normal functioning after an infection, preventing auto-immune disease
    • NK (Natural Killer) cells – part of the innate immune system, also assisting the adaptive immune system, important in cancer therapy, helping reject tumours and cells infected by viruses,
      killing invaders by releasing small cytoplasmic granules of proteins that literally reprogram the target cells to self-destruct
  • Monocytes – making up 5.3% (can be 2% to 8%) of the White Blood Cells, monocytes migrate from the blood into other tissues as macrophages,
    also into the liver where they become Kupffer cells.

Blood Biochemistry, or Blood Chemistry

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are electrically charged chemicals (ions) that are vital to normal body processes, such as nerve and muscle function.
Electrolytes help regulate fluid in the body and maintain the acid-base balance.
The important electrolytes: Sodium, Potassium, Chloride and Bicarbonate (HCO3).
Normally bundled with the electrolytes are the important mineral tests: Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Magnesium. Magnesium not normally tested as only about 1% of the body’s Magnesium is in the blood, but very important, as 90% of the population has lower than optimal Magnesium intake. Zinc also seldom tested, but equally important.

Sodium

Normal range: 135 to 145 mmol/L (or mEq/L) depending on the lab.
An essential electrolyte.  Essential for the body to balance water volume and pressure in thee body tissues, carry nutrients into cells and wastes from cells,  for nerve impulses and muscle contractions, automatic functions in the intestinal tract.
Irregularities in levels may indicate dehydration, disorders of the adrenal glands, excessive salt intake, corticosteroids, painkiller medications, liver or kidney problems.
The body keeps sodium levels in the normal range by excreting more or less through the kidneys into urine.
High sodium may raise blood pressure, and/or cause leg swelling in some people.
Many factors affect levels. Shock or trauma may increase levels. Some prescription diuretics, anti-depressants and blood pressure medications deplete sodium.
Drinking too little water can increase levels, drinking too much water can deplete levels.
Excessive sweating or vomiting can reduce sodium levels.
Too much sodium (Hypernatremia) or too little sodium (Hyponatraemia) cause many problems.

Sodium above the range may suggest:

  • Water retention, weight gain (water weight!)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Dysfunction of Adrenal Glands

Sodium below the range may suggest:

  • Addison’s Disease (Damaged Adrenal Glands)
  • Severe Diabetes
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Kidney damage
  • Diuretic medications
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypothyroidism

Urine Sodium

The amount of Sodium in urine, which is excreted by the kidneys.
Used with other electrolyte tests, and to help determine kidney function.
Reference Range: 20 mmol/L as a random urine test, or 28-272 mmol/L as a 24-hour urine test.
The excretion of sodium varies with dietary intake, and excretion is greater in daytime than at night.
Medications known to interfere with the results:
Corticosteroids

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Prostaglandins (used to treat conditions such as glaucoma or stomach ulcers)
  • Water pills (diuretics)

Low urine levels may be due to:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Pyloric obstruction
  • Malabsorption and primary aldosteronism
  • Excess water consumption

Increased urine levels may be due to:

  • Increased salt intake (typically from processed foods)
  • Failure of adrenal glands
  • Diabetic acidosis
  • Salt losing renal (kidney) disease
  • Water deficient dehydration

Potassium

Normal range: 3.6 to 5.2 mmol/L (or mEq/L) depending on the lab.
* A critical level is 5.5 mmol/L and over 6.0 mmol/L can be life-threatening.
An essential electrolyte, required for relaying nerve impulses, maintaining proper muscle functions, and regulating heartbeats. Without Potassium, the heart cannot beat!
The body must keep potassium and sodium levels in balance with each other for correct cell function and nerve transmission. High Potassium may cause a pounding heart, especially when lying down, and increases heart attack risk if high levels maintained over a long time,

High potassium (Hyperkalemia) issues:

  • Kidney disease
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Some blood pressure drugs (ACE inhibitors, ARB’s, some Beta blockers)
  • Potassium sparing diuretics
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Primary aldosteronism
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Anything causing muscle breakdown (which releases potassium into the blood), e.g.Statins
  • Possible false score if the blood specimen is mis-handled

Low potassium levels (Hypokalemia) issues:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Diuretics (mainly “Loop Diuretics”)
  • Blood pressure drugs (if they include loop diuretics)
  • Loss of body fluids
  • Exhaustion
  • Swollen ankles and fingers
  • Worse menopause symptoms
  • Stress
  • Asthma drugs (such as Abuterol)
  • Antibiotics
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia
  • Laxatives
  • Partial paralysis in legs, hands

Constipation can be a symptom of high or low potassium.
Low potassium is a major cause of cardiac arrhythmia, which can be a life-threatening condition.

Chloride

Normal range: 98 to 106 mEq/L (USA labs).
An essential electrolyte, and the body must keep chloride levels in the normal range.
Often will increase (hyperchloraemia) or decrease (hyporchloraemia) with changes in sodium levels (from salt – Sodium Chloride).
Some medications or a diet high in salt can cause high chloride.
Excess chloride may indicate an acidic environment in the body, or dehydration, multiple myeloma, kidney disorders, or adrenal gland dysfunction.

Bicarbonate (total HCO3, total CO2)

Normal Range: 24 to 30 mmol/L (Australia) or mEq/L (USA)
Most of the carbon dioxide in the body is in the form of bicarbonate (HCO3).
An essential electrolyte, part of a standard blood electrolyte panel, and part of a renal (kidney) function test, lung test or metabolic test.
Normally taken from a vein (in the crook of the elbow), but for some lung tests, it is taken from an artery, usually in the wrist, for an ABG (Arterial Blood Gas) test.

ABG (Arterial Blood Gas)

Taken from an artery to test for various gases which may indicate problems with the heart, lungs, metabolism or kidneys.
Not normally tested unless there is a serious illness.

Serum Anion Gap

Anion Gap (AG or AGAP) is the difference between measured cations and measured anions in serum.
This difference does not reflect a true disparity between positive and negative charges,
because serum is actually electrically neutral when all serum cations and anions are measured.
Rather, the anion gap is a measurement artifact resulting from the fact that only certain cations and anions are routinely measured.
Cations are ions with a positive electric charge. Anions are ions with a negative electric charge.
Anion gap metabolic acidosis is secondary to the addition of endogenous or exogenous acid.
Anion Gap can be calculated in different ways, but commonly the sum of common cations less the sum of common anions:
Serum Anion Gap (AG) = Sodium (Na+) + Potassium (K+) less the sum of (Chloride Cl) and Bicarbonate HCO3)
Sometimes the potassium is ignored, as it is comparatively small compared to Sodium, giving different results:
Reference range for serum Anion Gap is 8 to 16 mmol/L or mEq/L (without potassium)
Reference range for serum Anion Gap is 12 to 20 mmol/L or mEq/L (with potassium)
Normal Anion Gap is specific to laboratory and equipment used.
Newer technology and equipment have been shown to measure “low” Anion Gap in otherwise normal, healthy people.
Because there are other chemicals with anions in the body, a test below 11 is considered normal.
If test results are unexpected, the doctor may ask for a test repeat, as errors in any of the electrolyte tests will give an incorrect Anion Gap calculation.
A high Anion Gap, typically over 20, can indicate:

  • Lactic Acidosis (high blood lactic acid level), e.g. from over-exercising
  • Diabetes where ketones break down causing diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Starvation causing ketoacidosis
  • Alcoholic ketoacidosis
  • Poisoning, e.g. methanol, aspirin, carbon monoxide, cyanide, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Toluene poisoning
  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) overdose
  • Paraldehyde overdose
  • Iron overdose
  • Kidney failure, when kidneys cannot take in bicarbonate which is then lost in the urine
  • Uremia (urea in the blood)

A low Anion Gap can be caused by:

  • Hyponatremia (decreased sodium in the blood)
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow)

Other causes of low Anion Gap, although less common:

  • Bromide (negatively charged) intoxication, from some sedative drugs, medication for myasthenia gravis, and some herbal medications.
    High bromide can lead to neurologic or dermatologic symptoms. Bromide can interfere with chloride calculation, giving a false low Anion Gap.
    Bromide is often used in heated spas as a disinfectant, where it is readily absorbed through the skin, also blocking thyroid uptake of Iodine
  • Lithium is positively charged, often prescribed for bipolar disorder, and high concentrations may lower Anion Gap
  • Increase in positively charged ions such as calcium and magnesium can also lower the Anion Gap

Urine Anion Gap

The Urine Anion Gap test where the ammonium ion (NH4+) is the main positive ion (Cation).
However, Urine NH4+ is difficult to measure directly, but its excretion is normally accompanied by the anion chloride,
So the Urine Anion Gap is calculated by the sum of Urine Sodium plus Urine Potassium less Urine Chloride (Na+ + K+ – Cl)
Bicarb is omitted in this formula because urine is generally acidic, and Bicarbonate is generally negligible.
Note that urine values are different from serum values, so these results cannot be interchanged in the formula.
Typical values of Urine Anion Gap:
0 to 10 mmol/L (or mEq/L), and values over 10 mean the body is more acidic (undesirable).
Urine Anion Gap result over 20 indicates metabolic acidosis, usually when the kidneys cannot excrete ammonia, e.g. in renal tubular acidosis.
A negative Urine Anion Gap can be used as evidence of increased NH4+ excretion.
A zero or negative Urine Anion Gap while the Serum Anion Gap is positive, suggests a high urinary NH44+ (probably caused by gastrointestinal, e.g. diarrhea or vomiting).

Glucose

The amount of glucose in the blood at the time of the test. A relatively constant level of glucose must be maintained in the blood.
For a more helpful test, see the HbA1c test.
Should always be a fasting test, minimum 2 hours after a meal, but preferably fasting overnight after at least 6 hours without food or drink other than water.
Normal range is around 3.2 to 5.5 mmol/L (70 to 100 mg/dL in USA labs).
Results below this range is hypoglycaemic (low blood glucose) and urgent medical attention is required.
Elderly people generally test higher, even if they are healthy.
Levels are affected by food or drink recently ingested, recent exercise, stress levels, medications, hydration and the time of day.
Ranges above 5.5 are hyperglycaemic (high blood glucose).
5.5 to 6.9 is considered pre-diabetic, and over 6.9 is diabetic.
Doctors normally prescribe Metformin (with nasty side-effects) rather than refer to a nutritionist who can advise elimination of sugar,
high-carbohydrate and processed foods from the diet, and use magnesium supplements,
which in nearly every case will eliminate diabetes as well as reduce excess weight and improve cardiovascular health and reduce risk of dementia.

Random Glucose Level

Also called RBC (Random Blood Glucose) or CBG (Casual Blood Glucose). A recent meal is assumed, so has a higher reference range than the fasting glucose test above.
Typical range for a normal adult is 4.4 – 7.8 mmol/L (Australia) or 79 – 140 mg/dl (USA).
Results above this may not indicate diabetes (could also be a recent high sugar or carbohydrate meal), but a fasting glucose test should then be carried out to confirm if diabetes is suspected.

The Kidney Function Group of Tests

Note that kidney issues often show no symptoms until they are both working as low as 10% capacity,
so regular testing is advised to capture problems early while changes to diet, medications and lifestyle can correct the issues.
Some symptoms of kidney dysfunction include fatigue, swelling and hypertension.
The Kidney Panel usually consists of the following tests:
Electrolytes, –

Minerals include:

Phosphorus, vital for energy production, muscle and nerve function, bone growth and as a buffer to maintain the acid-base balance.
Calcium, essential for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and heart, also for blood clotting and bone formation.

Protein
Albumin – a protein that makes up about 60% of protein in the blood. Roles include keeping fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, and transporting hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body.
Waste products
Three calculated values may also be reported with a renal panel:
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) – a calculated estimate of the actual glomerular filtration rate (GFR, the amount of blood filtered by the glomeruli in the kidneys per minute) derived from creatinine levels in the blood; the formula takes into account the person’s age, gender, race, and sometimes height and weight.

Urea, or BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)

Urea, or BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) is a nitrogen-containing waste product that forms from metabolism of protein.
Released by the liver into the blood and is carried to the kidneys, where it is filtered out of the blood and eliminated in the urine.
Normal Range: 2.5 to 7.1 mmol/L or 10 to 20 mg/dL (USA labs). Not always tested in Australia.
High levels indicate poor kidney function, and results should be looked at in combination with the creatinine test.
May also be influenced by function.
Many medications and/or a high-protein diet can also raise BUN levels.

BUN/creatinine ratio

Urea (BUN)/creatinine ratio is a comparison of urea (nitrogen) to creatinine content in the blood.
Normal Range: Ratio of BUN to creatinine: 10:1 to 20:1 (men and older individuals may be somewhat higher)
Shows if kidneys are eliminating waste correctly.
High levels of creatinine, a by-product of muscle contractions, are excreted through the kidneys and suggest reduced kidney function.

Creatinine (Serum)

To determine if kidneys are functioning normally.
This test is used in conjunction with Urea and eGFR tests.
This is a waste product, disposed of by the kidneys, so any elevation may indicate kidney problems.
Creatinine is not re-absorbed or recycled, so if the kidneys cannot eliminate creatinine through the urine, levels will continue to rise.
High levels may also be caused by muscle problems, such as rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle) often caused my statin medication.
Body builders may take Creatine supplements (not the same thing as creatinine) which is a natural product made by the body, but breaks down into creatinine,
and will increase the creatinine test results. Creatine has been shown to increase water retention in some people, causing swollen ankles,
but this mainly occurs in those with poor kidney function, and the doctor should order a series of kidney tests.
Certain chemicals can cause analytic interference of Creatinine measurements.
Ketoacids (such as occurring in diabetic ketoacidosis) and 5-aminolevulinic acid (sometimes administered for photodynamic therapy) interfere with the alkaline picrate (Jaffé) assay of creatinine, giving falsely high readings and the incorrect impression of kidney dysfunction.
The issue does not arise with enzymatic creatinine measurements, so different labs using either the Jaffé assay or the enzymatic method will give different results.
Note also that Amlodipine and some similar blood-pressure medications, cause increased Creatinine, often resulting in swollen ankles, indicating kidney dysfunction, especially for those who are male, over 60 years old, and also take the drug Furosemide, and also have high cholesterol.
Other drugs such as Cimetidine, Trimethoprim, Corticosteroids, Pyrimethamine, Phenacemide, Salicylates, and active Vitamin D metabolites, can also increase plasma Creatinine without influencing glomerular filtration, thought to be through inhibition of Creatinine secretion, so a urine creatinine test would perhaps show a reduced level of creatinine compared to the increased serum results.
This is the blood (serum) test. See also the Creatinine Urine test below.
Normal range:
Men (18 to 60 years): 80 – 115 umol/L (Australia) or 0.9 to 1.3 mg/dL (USA)
Women (18 to 60 years): 53 – 97 umol/L (Australia) or 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL (USA)
The elderly may test a little lower.
Men (60 to 90 years): 71 – 115 umol/L (Australia) or 0.8 to 1.3 mg/dL (USA)
Women (60 to 90 years): 53 – 106 umol/L, some labs say 45 to 90 umol/L (Australia) or 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL (USA)

Creatinine (Urine)

Kidneys filter creatinine from the blood, excreting it through urine. The creatinine urine test may detect kidney malfunctioning.
This test is normally performed as a 24-hour urine test.
All urine is collected for 24 hours, stored in the refrigerator (not frozen), mixed and the result poured into a small sample bottle and labelled as such.
If a 24-hour test cannot be performed, a mid-stream urine sample from the first morning urination can be used, but results will not be as accurate, as urine creatinine levels change normally throughout the day.
Creatinine is a metabolic waste product of muscle metabolism and meat consumption, so those with a high protein diet, or very muscular, or have muscle damage, will have higher levels.
Urine creatinine levels may fluctuate depending on race, muscle mass, diet and certain medications.
Labs usually do not specify a normal range, as results can vary, and the test is generally used in conjunction with other tests to determine kidney function.
Normal range (subject to many factors, check with your doctor or laboratory if results appear out of range):
Men: 1.7 to 28 mmol/L (20-320 mg/dL USA labs)
Women: 1.7 to 24 mmol/L (20-275 mg/dL USA labs)

Creatinine Clearance

How fast creatinine is cleared by the kidneys, another way of estimating kidney function.
Low test results may mean kidney problems such as tubule damage, kidney failure, restricted kidney blood flow, kidney filtering unit damage, dehydration, obstructed bladder outlet, heart failure.
Normal Range:
Men: 97 to 137 ml/min. (all labs)
Women: 88 to 128 ml/min. (all labs)

eGFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate)

Used to screen for early kidney damage and to monitor kidney status. Performed by the creatinine test and calculating the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate.
The creatinine test is ordered as part of a routine metabolic panel, or along with a Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) test to evaluate the kidney status,
or to monitor those with known chronic kidney disease and those with diabetes and hypertension which may lead to kidney damage.
A low rate means some kidney damage has occurred.

KIDNEY DAMAGE STAGE DESCRIPTION GFR OTHER
1 Normal/minimal kidney damage with normal GFR 90+ Protein or albumin in urine are high, cells or casts seen in urine
2 Mild decrease in GFR 60-89 Protein or albumin in urine are high, cells or casts seen in urine
3 Moderate decrease in GFR 30-59
4 Severe decrease in GFR 15-29
5 Kidney failure under 15

Related test: Cystatin C

Often used as an alternative test to eGFR.
Kidney damage can cause gynecomastia in men due to decreased testosterone levels, leading to greater estrogen/testosterone ratio.

Cholesterol (total)

A fairly meaningless test – see Cholesterol (Lipid) Testing below.
Labs use around 0.0 to 5.4 nmol/L for a normal range, but very low levels, or rapidly dropping levels can indicate a higher risk for cancer, anxiety, depression, and if pregnant, premature birth and low birth weight.
High levels are a signal for doctors to prescribe statin drugs, when the cause should be investigated
(inflammation, which causes the body to make more cholesterol to repair the damage caused by inflammation).
Many smarter doctors are now agreeing with the science: Cholesterol is not bad, and unless levels go into the 8.0 area and above, there is not a huge problem as long as HDL levels are high enough.

Urate (Uric Acid)

Produced by the breakdown of purines. Normal range, Men: 0.208 to 0.416 mmol/L (3.5 to 7.0 mg/dL), desired range less than 0.36mmol/L (6.0 mg/dL)
Sometimes units given as µmol/L which is mmol/L / 1000, e.g. 0.416 mmol/L = 416 µmol/l.
Excess uric acid (Hyperuricemia) is excreted by the kidneys and disposed in the urine and faeces.
It is normal to have some Uric acid in urine.
High uric acid causes crystals to form in the joints – a painful condition known as gout, often in the big toe joint,
although not everyone with high uric acid has a problem. Some with levels up to 0.571 mmol/L (9.6 mg/dL) still have no gout.
Men are much more likeley to have gout than women up tp ages 50 to 60,
probably because testosterone aggravates gout, and men lose a large amount of testosterone and often gain excess body fat in senior years.
High Uric acid can increase risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and ammonium acid urate kidney stones.
High Uric acid (Hyperuricemia) can be caused by:

  • Obesity or excess body fat
  • High purine foods
  • Thiazide diuretics (hydrochlortiazide)
  • ACE inhibitors and beta blockers
  • Loop diuretics (including Furosemide or Lasix®)
  • Anti-TB (Tuberculosis) drugs
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Immune suppressing drugs
  • Other drugs including:
    • Acitretin
    • Didanosine
    • Filgrastim
    • L-dopa
    • Omeprazole
    • Peg-interferon + ribavirin
    • Sildenafil
    • Teriparatride
    • Ticagrelor
    • Topiramate
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin), mainly high doses
  • Insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes)
  • Fasting or rapid weight loss, usually temporary
  • Low dose Aspirin (60 to 300mg daily)
  • Fructose (generally from fruit juices or foods sweetened with HFCS – High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, prunes, dates all contain fructose, but OK in moderation
  • Yeast containing foods: Vegemite, Marmite, bread
  • Xylitol, a natural sweetener
  • Glycerol
  • Sorbitol
  • Testosterone
  • Recent surgery or trauma

Low uric acid (Hypouricemia) may indicate, cause or be caused by:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • MS (Multiple Sclerocis)
  • Fanconi Syndrome (Kidney disease, genetic, from some drugs or heavy metals),
  • Myeloma (Cancer of blood plasma cells in bone marrow)
  • Nephritis (Kidney inflammation)
  • Wilson’s Disease (genetic, causing copper accumulation)

Phosphate (Phosphorus)

Normal range: 0.8 to 1.4 mmol/L (2.5 to 4.3 mg/dL)
Phosphorus is important for bone health, energy storage, nerves and muscles, and related to calcium levels, which should be read in conjunction.
High phosphorus (Hyperphosphatemia) may indicate kidney or parathyroid problems, alcohol abuse, long-term antacid use,
excessive diuretics, malnutrition or high/low vitamin D.
Meat, dairy products and other foods contain phosphorus, so insufficiency (Hypophosphatemia) is rare.
Liver disease and low vitamin D can cause high or low phosphorus levels.
Low phosphate (Hypophosphataemia) can be caused by poor nutrition, low vitamin D3, poor absorption.
Extra-low (less than 0.4 mmol/L) may be caused by redistribution into cells, kidney losses or low intake.
Often accompanies other electrolyte deficiencies.
The test results will not determine the cause of high or low readings, so more tests are then required.

Total Calcium

The amount of calcium circulating in the blood, normal range 2.10 to 2.55 nmol/L (USA labs 9.0 to 10.5 mg/dL). Elderly people usually test a little lower.
Calcium levels over 3.0 (Hypercalcaemia) are a cause for further investigation, as high levels can increase risk of blood clots, and may indicate other problems.
Possible causes are Sarcoidosis, too much or too little Vitamin D, kidney problems, over-active thyroid or parathyroid, some cancers (such as lymphoma, parathyroid, and pancreatic).
This test does not tell us how much calcium is in the bones and teeth, where most of the calcium is stored, only the amount in the blood.
If out of range, additional tests may be required for ionised calcium, urine calcium, phosphate, magnesium, vitamin D and PTH (parathyroid hormone).
Normally, the Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D control blood calcium levels within a narrow range of values. See the PTH section for more info.
Low calcium (Hypocalcemia) may be caused by low vitamin D3, poor intestinal absorption, the amount of phosphate in the blood, anorexia or poor nutrition.
Low calcium may cause cramps and twitching.

Calc.IC – Ionised Calcium

Normal Range 1.10 to 1.25 nmol/L
Usually included in the standard tests.
This test result in normal people is inversely related to PTH (parathyroid hormone) so the PTH test is required if Ionised Calcium is out of range.

The Liver Function Group of Tests

These tests should be called “Liver Damage Tests” instead of “Liver Function Tests” as they only report problems when damaged liver cells leak enzymes into the blood, and the
liver can lose significant function before abnormalities show up in these tests: Bilirubin, CGT, AST, ALT and ALP.
These tests are looked at in conjunction with the blood proteins: Globulins, Albumin and Fibrinogen.

Albumin

Normal range: 37 to 48 g/L. USA labs often say 3.9 to 5.0 g/dL (39 to 50 g/L)
A protein made by the liver. Helps stop blood from leaking out. A high number indicates good health.
Results at the low end of this range indicates poor health. Possible causes of low numbers are:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Malabsorption in the intestines

The doctor may then order a prealbumin test and other tests to determine the nature of the problem.

Urine Albumin

Reference range: 0 to 25.0 mg/L (Australia and USA)

Albumin/Creatinine Ratio – Urine

Reference range: 0 to 3.5 mg/mmol

Globulins

Simple proteins found in the blood. Range depending on many factors: 21 to 41 g/L
Globulins are a family of globular proteins with a higher molecular weight than albumins. They are insoluble in pure water, but dissolve in dilute salt solutions.
Some are produced in the liver, others are made by the immune system.
There are four different globulin groups: gamma (immune system), beta (hormone transport), alpha-1 and alpha-2 (clotting function).
Individual groups may be tested if further diagnosis is required.
Low test results may indicate liver disease, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or inability to digest or absorb proteins, celiac disease, cancer, anaemia, kidney disease, poor immunity and more.
High test results may indicate a chronic or infectious disease, leukemia or other bone marrow disease, autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, kidney or liver disease, or carcinoid tumours.

A/G ratio (albumin/globulin ratio)

Healthy ratio: A little over 1.0, which means more albumin than globulin.
The blood contains two types of protein: albumin and globulin.
The A/G ratio test compares levels of these proteins with one another.

Serum Protein

Typically total proteins are the sum of albumin and globulin.
Normal Range 64 to 83 g/L
High levels can be caused by dehydration or other factors. See the notes on Albumin and Globulin.
Low protein is when Albumin and/or Glogulin levels are low, and indicates poor health.

Total Bilirubin

Bilirubin is the yellow-coloured pigment in the bile, produced as the liver breaks down heme from hemoglobin in old red blood cells,
and gives stools the normal brown colour as it is excreted.
Bilirubin is a lipophilic antioxidant, reducing lipid peroxidation (oxidative degradation of lipids),
where free radicals steal electrons from lipids in cell membranes, causing cell damage.
Low bilirubin is associated with an increase in all-cause mortality, but most doctors do not know this,
they say that low levels mean better health!
Range (Total): 2 to 20 umol/L or USA Labs: 0.3 to 1.9 mg/dL.
Range (Direct) 1.0 to 5.1 umol/L or USA Labs: 0 to 0.3 mg/dL.
Different ranges apply for babies and between labs.
High levels can indicate poor function of liver and kidneys, problems in bile ducts, and anaemia, and usually indicate the need for further tests.
However, if further tests reveal no issues with liver or other organs, high bilirubin is a good thing, leading to higher glutathione and a longer, healthier life.
Bilirubin in the blood circulates in two forms:
Indirect (unconjugated) bilirubin – insoluble in water – changed in the liver to a soluble form.
Direct (conjugated) bilirubin – soluble form – made in the liver from indirect bilirubin.
Total bilirubin and direct bilirubin levels are measured directly in the blood, while indirect bilirubin is calculated from the total less the direct bilirubin.
High bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia) cause skin and/or whites of the eyes to appear yellow (jaundice),
caused by liver disease (hepatitis), blood disorders (hemolytic anemia), or blockage of the bile ducts from the liver to the small intestine.
Hyperbilirubinemia in a newborn baby may cause brain damage (kernicterus), hearing loss, problems with eye movement muscles,
physical abnormalities, and even death.
Babies who develop jaundice can be treated with phototherapy (special lights or a “light blanket”) or a blood transfusion
to lower their bilirubin levels.
When the liver is mature enough to control bilirubin, all symptoms disappear and no further treatment is required.
Standard blood tests only test for total bilirubin and other tests are prescribed only if results or symptoms determine the need for more tests.

GGT (Gamma-Glutamyltransferase)

A very sensitive enzymatic indicator of liver disease.
Common reasons for elevated values can indicate alcoholic cirrhosis (from heavy drinking, or consumption of other liver-toxic substances).
A healthy liver can only detox one alcoholic drink in two hours, so those people who consume two drinks in one hour have a quadruple liver-overload condition.
Used to determine if raised alkaline phosphatase is due to skeletal disease (normal range GGT) or indicate hepatobiliary disease (raised GGT).
Normal range varies – small children approx 7 to 19 U/L (male), 6 to 29 U/L (female) with the high side increasing with age to 50 and above for the elderly.
Adult level range usually around 0 to 45 U/L but always check with the lab and the doctor for your appropriate range.
(GGT) activity is seen in any and all forms of liver disease, although the highest elevations are seen in intra- or post-hepatic biliary obstruction.
Excess alcohol consumption will increase CGT.
High GGT combined with high ALP indicates some form of hepatobiliary disease.

ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase)

Normal range: varies from 45 to 115 U/L (adult male) and 55 to 142 U/L (adult females). USA labs often say 44 to 147 U/L.
OPTIMAL range: depends on age. Adolescents have a much higher ALP when rapidly growing compared to a fully grown adult because the osteoblasts are laying down bone very rapidly.
For adults, 50 to 75 is considered a reasonable optimal range.
Children and female ranges are very varied so always check with the lab for the correct range for your age and sex.
The SI units IU/L are the same as the US units U/L.
ALP is a group of enzymes present mainly in liver (isoenzyme ALP-1) and bone (isoenzyme ALP-2), with lesser amounts in the intestines (isoenzyme ALP-3),
the placenta, the kidneys (in the proximal convoluted tubules) and in white blood cells.
When any of these cells are damaged, ALP is released into the bloodstream.
The ALP enzyme is synthesised in the hepatocytes adjacent to the biliary canaliculi.
Elevations typically indicate problems with bone disease, the liver or obstruction.
Obstruction can be in the biliary tract, which may occur within the liver, the ducts leading from the liver to the gallbladder,
or the duct leading from the gallbladder through the pancreas that empty into the duodenum (small intestine). Any of these organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or duodenum) can be involved.
High ALP can indicate:

  • Liver, Obstruction or Congestion:
    • Cholestasis (decrease in bile flow)
    • Obstructive jaundice (the liver responds to biliary obstruction by synthesising more ALP)
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Obstructive pancreatitis
    • Hepatitis/Mononucleosis/CMV
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Parasites
    • Malignancy involving liver
    • Giant Cell Arteritis, especially with Cholestasis
  • Bone / Skeletal issues involving osteoblast hyperactivity and bone remodeling:
    • Paget’s disease
    • Rickets
    • Shingles (Herpes Zoster virus)
    • Osteomalacia
    • Osteogenic sarcoma
    • Fractures
    • Osteoporosis treatment
    • Adrenal cortical hyperfunction
  • From other conditions:
    • Pregnancy (late, as the placenta produces ALP)
    • Hyperparathyroidism
    • MEN II (Multiple endocrine neoplasia)
    • Leukemia
    • Lymphoma
    • Amyloidosis
    • Granulation tissue
    • Gastrointestinal inflammation (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, ulcers)
    • Systemic infections (sepsis)
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, gynecologic malignancies and some other cancers
    • Acute tissue damage in the heart or lungs (myocardial or pulmonary infarctions)

Low ALP can indicate:

  • Zinc deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vitamin C deficiency or Scurvy
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Excess Vitamin D intake
  • Low phosphorus levels (hypophosphatasia)
  • Celiac disease
  • Malnutrition with low protein assimilation (including low stomach acid production/hypochlorhydria)
  • Insufficient Parathyroid gland function
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Vitamin B6 insufficiency
  • Hypophosphatasia
  • Protein deficiency
  • Wilson disease

ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase)

Also known as Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase, or SGPT
Normal range: adult males: 7 to 55 U/L, adult females: 7 to 45 U/L depending on age and lab.
Some USA labs say 8 to 37 U/L, some Australian labs say 0 to 54 U/L.
OPTIMAL Range: 20-30 U/L
This test checks for elevated liver enzymes. Note that if the patient is taking high-dose
Niacin, it is normal to have elevated ALT.
Of course, it is NOT normal to have VERY high ALT, and medical advice should be sought, but a little over the normal range can be contributed to Niacin,
and this is not a problem by itself, but should be taken into account if there are other abnormal liver tests.
The other common cause for high ALT is drinking too much alcohol. A healthy liver can detox one alcoholic drink in around 2 hours.
If the patient has 4 drinks in 4 hours, then the liver is double-overloaded and suffers accordingly.
The solution? Stop drinking alcohol!
Diagnosis of liver disease associated with hepatic necrosis (hepatic = liver, necrosis = cell death).
When the liver is fine, results are within range, the lower the better.
High ALT is seen in parenchymal liver diseases where hepatocytes are destroyed, with values often ten times above normal, sometimes as high as one hundred times the upper reference limit.
In some liver infections or inflammatory conditions, ALT is usually higher or as high as AST, and the ALT/AST ratio (normally less than 1), becomes greater than 1.
ALT increases usually occur prior to appearance of symptoms of disease. The liver can lose a lot of function before symptoms appear.
High ALT results can be from other causes, such as:

  • Liver damage such as viral hepatitis
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Lead poisoning
  • Drug reactions
  • Carbon tetrachloride exposure
  • Large tumor necrosis (decay)
  • Shock
  • Mononucleosis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Panadol, Parecetamol, Acetaminophen, Tylenol
  • Rapidly growing children
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Thyroid disease
  • Polymyositis
  • Severe burns
  • Pancreas, Kidney or muscle injury
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Antibiotics, statins, chemotherapy, aspirin, narcotics, and barbiturates
  • Herbs such as echinacea or valerian
  • Injections into a muscle
  • Recent cardiac catheterization or surgery
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Liver ischemia (Lack of blood flow to the liver)
  • Taking high strength Niacin

ALT values are normally compared to ALP (alkaline phosphatase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) to diagnose which form of liver disease is present.

AST (Aspartate aminotransferase)

Also called SGOT, Serum Glutamic-Oxaloacetic Transaminase, GOT, Aspartate Transaminase

Normal range: around 8 to 48 U/L, some labs say 0 to 45 U/L, some USA labs say 10 to 34 U/L
An enzyme found in the liver, heart, skeletal muscle and kidneys, in both the cytoplasm and mitochondria of cells.
Not always related to the liver. Elevated values typically mean disease of the heart, muscle, liver, or all.
Mild tissue injury caused the main form of AST to be the cytoplasm form, and major tissue damage results in higher mitochondrial enzyme.
High AST may be found in myocardial infarction (heart attack), acute liver cell damage, viral hepatitis and carbon tetrachloride poisoning.
More moderate rise in AST can be caused by muscular dystrophy, dermatomyositis, acute pancreatitis and crushed muscle injuries.

LD or LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase)

Normal range: Approx 110 to 230 U/L depending on the lab.
Lactate dehydrogenase is an enzyme, found in almost every living cell, but mostly in the heart, liver, muscles, kidneys, lungs and blood (erythrocytes).
LDH catalyzes the conversion of lactate to pyruvic acid and back, as it converts NAD+ to NADH and back.
A dehydrogenase is an enzyme that transfers a hydride from one molecule to another.
Used to monitor changes in tumour burden after chemotherapy.
High LD is common in cancer patients but results are too erratic to formally diagnose cancer.
High LD generally means that mitochondrial function is compromised, meaning that newly diagnosed cancer patients will have a poor outlook.
High LD is also seen in:

  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Untreated pernicious anemia
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Abdominal and lung cancers
  • Severe shock
  • Hypoxia (reduced oxygen)

Moderatly high LD is seen in:

  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Leukemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Progressive muscular dystrophy
  • Liver and kidney disease

Other tests outside the standard blood tests

Vitamin D3 (25-hydroxycholecalciferol) Testing

Not normally tested unless it is asked for, but given that two-thirds of Australians have less than the minimum vitamin D3,
and nearly 98% have less than optimum levels, and almost 97% of all cancer patients have less than optimal vitamin D3, this test should be mandatory.
Those most at risk include:

  • Those who shower every day, as showering washes off the pre-vitamin D compounds absorbed from sunlight the day before
  • Those with dark skin or wear clothing covering most of the body
  • Those who slip, slop, slap, which is the WRONG thing to do except on cloudy days
  • Those who live further from the equator, where the sun is seldom high in the sky
  • Those who are aged 50 or older, because as we age, we lose the ability to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight
  • Those who work nights and sleep in the day, restricting sunlight exposure
  • Those taking statin medications for cholesterol, as these medicationss prevent the liver from making the ingredients to manufacture vitamin D

Most of the labs say we need from 60 to 160 nmol/L, some medical institutions say we need 20 to 95, and most doctors accept the lab results.
Some labs are now revising their optimal range upwards: 75 to 250 nmol/L.
What we REALLY need is: For healthy bones, we need minimum 90, up to 175.
The OPTIMAL range for IMMUNITY to all disease including most cancers is 125 to 175 nmol/L, preferably in the high end of this range.
For short-term treatment of cancer or other serious illness, we should aim for levels in the 160 to 250 range.
While it is true that vitamin D can be toxic in very high doses, the average dose sold in most stores is 1000 IU which is nowhere near enough.
LeanMachine recommends 5000 IU Vitamin D3, typical cost approx. $20 for 360 gelcaps (almost a year’s supply) at 5 times normal strength.
No cases of toxic overdose of vitamin D3 has been recorded at less than an intake of 40,000 IU.
LeanMachine also gets a lot of sunlight, but still needs this dosage to maintain levels of around 150 to 160 nmol/L.
The body’s organs have the ability to turn Vitamin D into Calcitriol, which goes to work repairing damage from infections, diseases and cancers.
Vitamin D, D2 or D3 – vitamin D3 is the ONLY vitamin we should take as a supplement.
Avoid products “fortified with vitamin D” as these almost always contain vitamin D2, a cheap, synthetic version of natural D3, which not only do not do the same job as real D3,
they actually block absorption of real D3, leaving us D3 deficient.
For the full article on vitamin D3 go to Vitamin D3 article.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Unlike other B group vitamins which are flushed away in urine daily, B12 can last for months in the body, even though it is also water-soluble.
People who have problems taking supplements can get a B12 injection every 3 months.
Normal Range 148 to 616 pmol/L depending on the lab and other factors.
Low levels may be caused by malabsorption in the small intestine, low stomach acid, taking antacids, hyperthyroidism, parasites, pernicious anaemia or dietary insufficiency.
Vegans and vegetarians do not get B12 from plant foods except small amounts in mushrooms.
High levels may be caused by liver disease (cirrhosis or hepatitis), some types of leukemia or taking too many B12 supplements.
Health Departments recommend 2 to 5 mcg daily, but LeanMachine takes 1000 mcg daily, with test results more than double the maximum normal blood range at around 1500 pmol/L.
High doses of B12 do no harm, unlike folate – see next section.
Note: Cheap B12 supplements contain a small amount of cyanide, which is flushed away completely harmlessly in the urine.
Of course, no one should take several bottles at once, and any excess probably offers no extra benefit.
LeanMachine only recommends the
active methyl B12 which has no cyanide.
Essential as we age, because we get older, we produce less stomach acid, so produce less B12.
Up to 30% of people over 50 cannot correctly absorb and make B12 and are deficient, so supplementation is essential in the elderly.
Studies show that over 3% of people over 50 are SEVERELY deficient in B12.
Not normally tested unless we ask for it, but very important for most people over 45 or for vegans and vegetarians.
B12 is chemically the most complex vitamin, and the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body for months or years, but vegetarians and especially vegans as well as most people over 50 should supplement.
Essential for anyone taking PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors) like Nexium, which reduce stomach acid – giving short-term relief for heartburn, but impacting B12 production and adequate nutrition.
The only effective way to treat heartburn is to eat less, and only eat nutritious food.
Should always be tested along with folate, as high folate can mask B12 deficiency and vice versa – see folate test below.
Recommended : Active B12

Folate (Vitamin B9) – Testing

NOTE: Folic Acid is a cheap substitute for folate, but is not the same thing. Read more below…
Range: Folate in plasma: 7 to 30 nmol/L, folate in Red Blood Cells: 317 to 1422 nmol/L.
High folate may mask a B12 deficiency as B12 is used to process folate. Low B12 means folate is not used and builds up in the blood.
Low folate can be caused by eating disorders, alcoholism, liver disease, celiac disease, chrohn’s disease, malabsorption issues, or low vitamin C intake.
Some sources say excess folate is not a problem, but LeanMachine recommends a maximum intake of 1000 mcg daily from all sources.
One source is our Active Folate
Folate is famous for helping prevent neural tube defects in the developing foetus (e.g. Spina Bifida) when given to pregnant women.
Also helps with limb deformities, nerve problems, tumours and some birth defects.
Mothers should take Folate and B12 before, during and if breastfeeding, after pregnancy.
Because foetus problems from folate deficiency occur at just 3 weeks into the gestation period, this can be too late to start taking folate, so every woman of child-bearing age should supplement with folate.
Not so famous is the fact that most healthy people reaching 100 years of age are high in folate.
Folate benefits both sexes, helping to reduce levels of homocysteine (a marker of cardiovascular disease), especially in conjunction with B6 and B12.
Folic Acid and Folate are NOT the same thing.
Folate comes naturally from various foods such as spinach, asparagus, chickpeas, beans, and broccoli.
Folic Acid generally comes from cheap supplements.
Note: Many people have a defective MTHFR Gene which prevents the partial or full conversion from folate to the active form, MTHF ((6S)-5-MethylTetraHydroFolate) or Active Folate
This gene can be inherited or due to lifestyle, and up to 40% of the population have varying forms, producing very mild to very severe symptoms.
We can ask for a MTHFR (also known as MethylTetraHydroFolate Reductase) test, or simply use the Active Folate.
Low folate produces symptoms such as high homocysteine, hypothyroidism, lethargy, impaired cognitive function, and mood disorders.
LeanMachine recommends only the active form of Folate.
For those with the MTHFR issue, taking ordinary folate or folic acid will often make the problem worse.

NOTE: Out of range B-12 can mask testing results of Folate and vice versa, so BOTH need to be tested at the same time.

Homocysteine Testing

Range: 4 to 17 mcmol/L (normally higher in men than women)
Deficiencies in Folate and B12 cause high homocysteine, an amino acid.
High homocysteine can be caused by low folate and/or B12, too much alcohol, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, homocystinuria, or cancers.
Low homocysteine can be caused by some medications, or excess folic acid, B12 or Niacin.
Read more about B-12, B-6, Active Folate and Homocysteine here.

Iron Testing

There are three different iron test ranges:
Serum Iron: Men: 12.5 to 31.3 nmol/L, Women: 8.9 to 26.8 mcmol/L
TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity) Men and Women: 45 to 76 mcmol/L.
Transferrin Saturation: Men 10% to 50%, Women 15% to 50%.
A test to see how well iron is metabolised in the body, often tested in conjunction with the Ferritin test – see below.
Out of range values can be diet, lead poisoning, liver, kidney, rheumatoid arthritis, hemochromotosis, anaemia, bleeding, supplement overdose.

Ferritin Testing

Normal Range: Men 18 to 270 mcg/L, Women 18 to 160 mcg/L, but some labs say 15 to 350 for men, 15 to 300 for women.
However, LeanMachine recommends “Goldilocks” levels.Not too low, not too high. Optimum is between 20 and 80, preferably between 30 and 60. Anything outside this range can cause problems.
Ferritin is a protein that binds to iron in the blood, often tested in conjunction with the Iron test above.
High iron in the blood, pancreas or heart can cause many health problems, and eventually death.
High ferritin may be caused by:

  • Hemochromotosis (over 1000 mcg/L)
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis or hepatitis)
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Leukemia
  • Infection
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Iron-rich diet
  • Taking unwarranted iron supplements
  • Receiving blood transfusions

Low ferritin can be caused by:

  • Bleeding (externally or internally)
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Pregnancy
  • Iron-deficient diet (such as vegan or vegetarian)
  • Blood donations
  • Loss through the skin (psoriasis)
  • Loss by excretion through the urine

High Iron/Ferritin has two basic treatments: Blood-letting (donating blood at the Red Cross), or taking
IP6 (Inositol Hexaphosphate) to chelate excess iron.
Many supplements can help chelate heavy metals from the body, but IP6 appears to be the ONLY way of effectively chelating iron with supplements.
Blood donations may be undesirable (e.g.religious reasons) or not allowed (e.g. if the donor has HIV or other disease, has recently been to an undesirable country, or is too old or otherwise ineligible.
Prescription drugs can be used, such as:

  • Deferoxamine (Desferal®), administered by subcutaneous (under the skin) infusion using a small portable pump, worn for 8-12 hours daily, usually while sleeping.
  • Deferasirox, either as:
    • Exjade®, a tablet dissolved in juice or water and taken orally once daily
    • Jadenu®, a tablet taken daily with water or other liquids
  • Deferiprone or L1 (Ferriprox™)

Side effects can be unpleasant or even damaging to health using prescription drugs. Not all drugs are approved in all Countries.
IP6 appears to be the safest and most effective, and also helps treat cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, and kidney stones.
Parkinson’s patients can improve because of reduction in excess iron, reducing neuronal degradation.

See LeanMachine’s article on Ferritin
NEVER take iron supplements or use any method to increase or decrease iron without a full “Ferritin Study”, and watch for iron in multivitamins or other supplements.

HbA1C

Normal range: 4% to 5.6%
Pre-diabetes range: 5.7% to 6.4%
Diabetic range (controlled): 6.5% to 7%
Diabetic (uncontrolled): over 7%
HbA1C is a measure of how many glucose (sugar) molecules have “stuck” to red blood cells.
As red blood cells die in around 3 months, this gives doctors an insight into how well (or not) the patient’s blood glucose is under control,
as it effectively gives an average for the last 3 months, rather than a simple glucose test which only gives the result based on a moment in time when the blood was drawn.
As such, the HbA1C test SHOULD be given to everyone suspected of being diabetic or pre-diabetic, as this is the best screening method we have.
Unfortunately, our “smart” Australian Government only allows HbA1C testing in patients already diagnosed with diabetes, eliminating the best screening tool for diabetes available!
The reasoning behind this decision is to keep track of how many confirmed diabetics we have in Australia,
but surely it is more important to prevent diabetes in the first place by improving diet and lifestyle before real diabetes damage happens?

Note: People with iron deficiency anemia or other forms of anemia may have distorted results, giving higher than normal HbA1c when there is no high blood glucose.
Some other factors with people having unusual haemoglobin may have distorted high or low results.

Cholesterol Testing

Typical test is a “lipid study” which includes total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides.

Total Cholesterol

This is a fairly useless test, but doctors wrongly prescribe statins for anyone with cholesterol over around 5.2 or who are over 50 years old or who have diabetes or heart conditions.
Statins cause depletion of the body’s co-Enzyme Q10, resulting in side-effects such as muscle pain, diabetes, osteoporosis, a weaker heart and more.
Patients on statins may have a slightly less chance of dying from cardiovascular issues, but an INCREASED risk of dying from all other causes.
The result is a poorer quality of life, and most people will not live one day longer.
For instance a woman on statins for over 2 years has double the risk of breast cancer, and other cancer risks are substantially increased.
Anyone on statins has a higher risk of cataracts, muscle and joint pain and many other conditions. Most of these problems are due to the low vitamin D levels caused by statins.
Statins also prevent the liver from producing cholesterol sulfate, which supplies oxygen, sulfur, cholesterol, energy and a healthy negative charge to every cell in the body.
CoQ10 100mg 360 softgels and Vitamin D3 supplements are essential for anyone taking statins.
Eat an organic apple a day instead of taking a statin and you may really “keep the doctor away”.

LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein

Desirable range under 2.0 mmol/L but not as important if HDL levels are high.
Often known as “bad” cholesterol, but has several important jobs in helping create hormones and other beneficial body components.
For decades, LDL has had a bad reputation as the bad cholesterol, when in fact high LDL levels are blamed simply because they are present whenever the body needs repairing, for example an inflamed artery, where LDL goes to patch up the damage by helping to form a clot and preventing a rupture of the artery.
Obviously we need LDL for this and many other bodily functions, so high LDL is simply a warning sign of inflammation, and inflammation is better reduced by exercise and a healthier diet, rather than taking statin drugs,
which force the liver to produce less LDL, and NOT margarine (trans fat) which appears to reduce LDL but INCREASES deadly trans fats which cause cardiovascular disease and DOUBLE the risk of breast cancer and most other cancers.

HDL – High Density Lipoprotein

Desirable range is over 2.0 mmol/L, with most labs stating the reference range 1.0 to 2.2 mmol/L.
Known as “good” cholesterol – High Density Lipoprotein
The main job of HDL is to assist in clearing LDL, triglycerides, trans fats, and other unwanted components from the blood by returning them to the liver for processing.
The liver then converts LDL to bile and most unwanted body products are then eliminated.
Without our “garbage collectors”, the human body would die in 24 hours.
A healthy diet free from sugar, processed foods, trans fats, etc is essential for adequate levels of HDL.
No prescription drug can raise HDL, only exercise and a healthy diet and supplements such as Niacin (Prolonged Release).
Many things can affect HDL test results such as pregnancy, serious illness, stress, accident, heart attack, etc so the patient should wait until 6 weeks after recovery for an accurate result.

VLDL (or VLDL-C) – Very Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Desirable range: Less than 0.77 mmol/L or 30 mg/dL.
This is the only “bad” cholesterol, mainly when oxidised, generally caused by a bad diet of sugars and bad fats (Canola oil, margarine, etc).
Can be reported as part of a lipid study to determine risk of coronary heart disease, but not often asked for.
In fact, most regular labs do not test for this at all, instead estimating VLDL as a percentage of Triglycerides (see below).
Because a true test for VLDL is expensive and time-consuming, only a few research labs have the equipment and time to carry out a true test.
High levels of VLDL-C are believed to indicate the presence of lipoprotein remnants (intermediate particles on the pathway of conversion of VLDL to LDL).
High levels of VLDL slow the conversion of VLDL to LDL and may contribute to development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Exercise, weight loss, and a healthy diet are the most effective ways to reduce triglycerides and in turn reduce VLDL.

Triglycerides

The amount of fats (lipids) circulating in the bloodstream.
Healthy adults should have triglycerides less than 1.5 mmol/L.
Exercise, weight loss, and a healthy diet are the most effective ways to reduce triglycerides.

CRP (C-Reactive Protein)

Lab range: Less than 8mg/L, but 90% of all healthy people are below 3.0 and 99% below 12 mg/L, and a level below 0.8 mg/L is best.
CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation.
High CRP (over 3mg per mL) can mean inflammation, infection, trauma and tissue necrosis, malignancies, or autoimmune disorders.
Often caused by inflammation in the arteries and veins, and can be a marker for possible heart attacks or other cardiovascular disease.
High CRP can be caused by so many things that alone it cannot diagnose any particular disease, but does indicate that further studies are required, and the test should be repeated after 2 weeks to ascertain if the treatment is working, or if the inflammation is getting worse.

A short story: Mrs LeanMachine was in good health, but one day had severe pains in the chest and neck, so bad that she thought she was having a heart attack. Off to the Hospital, about 2 minutes from our home. The doctor on duty was Mrs LeanMachine’s regular doctor and had a good history of her health (previously damaged by years on statins and Nexium) and ran some blood tests, which proved that she had not had a heart attack, but her CRP was 49. Surely this indicated severe inflammation, but she was sent home and told to take pain killers. No follow-up, no further tests, that was it. Later, the pain had subsided, but at my request, a different doctor ordered an ultrasound, and sure enough, the gall bladder was full of stones, including two large stones looking like a pair of black dice (hard black cubes) and about the same size. For gall bladder problems, there are natural treatments, but when the gall bladder is badly inflamed and stones are too large to pass into the bile duct, removal is possibly the best option, especially when the removal can be performed as “keyhole” which is much less invasive than the major surgery required in an emergency if the problem gets worse.
So the gall bladder was removed via keyhole, and recovery was only a few days, and almost full. Careful attention to diet is required after gall bladder removal.

Obesity often causes elevated CRP levels, as fat cells produce signals for the liver to generate more CRP.
Doctors do not normally test for this in Australia (but do so commonly in the USA) so the patient should insist if there are other risk factors for cardiovascular disease or other unexplained symptoms.
Low levels (below 1mg per mL) are considered normal.

Testing for Lyme Disease

Australian Doctors have long insisted that Lyme Disease does not exist in Australia.
This has been proven incorrect as there are countless Australians suffering from this disease, of which there are at least 14 known variants.
There is only one testing laboratory for Lyme Disease in Australia which has not been accredited, so most testing is carried out in the USA.
Lyme disease is generally transmitted through a tick bite, often going un-noticed, as a small tick can be no larger than a full stop on this page.
Tick bites are more common at latitudes North of Sydney, but can happen anywhere. People working or living among tall grass have a higher risk.
For more information, go to www.lymedisease.org.au

PSA (Protein Specific Antigen)

PSA testing has been used for a long time to check for prostate cancer.
However, this test does not always point to a problem, as many men have a high reading and no prostate cancer, while others have prostate cancer but a low PSA reading.
For men in a high-risk category (bad diet, over 60 years of age, overweight, family history of prostate cancer) should be tested on a regular basis if the first test is high. Otherwise healthy men should have the PSA test included with an annual blood work to look for changes.
Although a low PSA result is preferred, we aim to look for any change in the result between tests, say at least 3 months apart. A significant increase in the value is more important than the actual number, as some men have a higher reading which is normal for them, others have a low reading which is normal for them. It is a sudden upward shift that is cause for further investigation.
This PSA test has nothing to do with Benign Prostate Enlargement which is not cancerous, but often affects quality of life by urgent and frequent urination. A high PSA result may be due to Benign Prostate Enlargement or some other condition.
Prostate cancer in men and breast and ovarian cancer in women are all known as estrogen-related cancers. Excess weight is a high risk factor, as every fat cell produces more estrogen, and the problem gets worse as men and women age, with ever-increasing weight gain bringing a higher cancer risk.

Thyroid Testing

The Hypothalamus gland releases TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which triggers the pituitary gland to release TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone).
Most doctors only ask for a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test, but this test alone is insufficient for an accurate diagnosis.
Generally, doctors only order tests for other thyroid hormones if TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is less than 0.5 mIU/L (hyperthyroidism, too much thyroid hormone)
or greater than 4.0 mIU/L (hypothyroidism, not enough thyroid hormone) when actually the top end of the range (hypothyroidism) should be 2.0 rather than 4.0
USA labs often say 3.0 as a top reading, but even this is too high, and some Australian labs say 4.5 is the top end which is way too high.
Note: Supplemental Biotin (part of the B-group vitamins) over 5 5mg daily should stop biotin supplementation at least 36 to 48 hours before blood collection.
These results are just a guide, and the doctor should evaluate results based on each individual’s health, symptoms, history and other factors, including results of other tests required.
Values outside those listed here may still be normal for each individual or laboratory.
Labs can measure TSH, total T4, FT4 (free T4), total T3, FT3 (free T3), T3U (uptake T3) FTI (Free Thyroxine Index), and T3R (Reverse T3) and others.
Almost all of the T4 in the blood is bound to a protein called thyroxine-binding globulin, leaving less than 1% unattached (free).
Total T4 blood tests can measure both bound and free T4. Free T4 affects body functions, but bound T4 does not.
Range for FT4 is approx 9 to 19 pmol/L but varies with the lab and the age of the patient.
FT4 (Free thyroxine) can be measured directly (FT4) or calculated as FTI (Free Thyroxine Index), which indicates the level of free T4 compared to bound T4.
Abnormal amounts of thyroxine-binding globulin is indicated by FTI.
Most T3 in the blood is also attached to thyroxine-binding globulin, and again, less than 1% of T3 is unattached.
Total T3 blood tests measure both bound and free T3 (triiodothyronine).
T3 is usually in much smaller amounts than T4, but T3 has a greater effect on the body’s metabolism than T4.
T4 is considered to be more of a “storage” thyroid hormone, where the body converts T4 to T3 as required.
This area is a huge subject and is discussed in greater detail here: Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism is very common in older adults, and symptoms such as low energy can be attibuted to being a little overweight, or just an off day.
Thyroid tests are not part of the standard blood panel, but may be ordered if the patient reports fatigue and weight gain (hypothyroidism), or weight loss with nervousness or hyperactivity (hyperthyroidism).
Many doctors dismiss low or high test results if they are borderline, but these tests can indicate early thyroid problems.

TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) Range 0.4 to 4.0 uIU/mL (same as mIU/L) Optimal range: 1.0 to 1.5 mIU/L
Total T4 (total thyroxine) Range 12 to 22 pmol/L (4.5 to 12.5 mg/dL) Optimal range: Top half
Free T4 (free thyroxine) Range 9 to 19 pmol/L (0.8-1.8 ng/dL) Optimal range: Top half
Total T3 (total triiodothyronine) Range 80 to 200 ng/dL Optimal range: Top half OK, very top quarter best
Free T3 (free triiodothyronine) Range 2.6 to 6.0 pmol/L (80-200 ng/dL or 2.3 to 4.2 pg/mL) Optimal range: Top half OK, very top quarter best
THBR (Thyroid hormone binding ratio) Range 0.9-1.1

A low TSH indicates hyperthyroidism.
If T3 and T4 shows below the minimum, hypothyroidism may be indicated.
If T3 and T4 is high, hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) may be indicated.
Hyperthyroidism is a common cause of gynecomastia in men because it increases the estrogen to testosterone ratio.

Copper Testing

Humans have efficient mechanisms to regulate copper stores, normally protecting from excess dietary copper levels.
Copper tests can help to diagnose some diseases such as Wilson’s disease or Menkes disease.
We should monitor total copper, free serum copper, 24-hour urine copper, and liver biopsy copper concentrations.
Some symptoms of excess copper are similar to those of a copper deficit, often making diagnosis difficult.
Serum ceruloplasmin is used to determine free serum copper.
Note that some infections or inflammation may temporarily increase copper levels.
Also, supplementation of zinc and/or magnesium will complete with copper for absorption, leading to a copper deficiency.

Copper reference ranges:
Free serum copper: 1.6-2.4 μmol/L (10-15μg/dL)
Total copper: 10-22 μmol/L (63.7-140.12 μg/dL)
Serum ceruloplasmin: 2.83-5.50 μmol/L (18-35 μg/dL)
24-hour urine copper 0.3-0.8 μmol (20-50 μg)
Liver copper 0.3-0.8 μmol/g of tissue (20-50 μg/g of tissue)

Normal copper values indicate normal dietary intake, physiology, absorption and excretion of copper.
Food sources of copper:
Many foods including seeds, organ meats, nuts, seafood, liver.
Copper is also found in the water supply.
Average daily copper intake in men: 1.54-1.70 mg/day, in women 1.13-1.18 mg/day.
The wide food sources make copper deficiency fairly rare.
Copper deficiency may be from:

  • Dietary insufficiency of copper (rare)
  • Malabsorption in the duodenum where most copper is absorbed.
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Those with Menkes disease (low serum copper, low serum ceruloplasmin, low liver biopsy levels)
  • Overcorrection of treatment for Wilson disease

High total copper may be from:

  • Ingesting too much copper
  • Eating acidic foods cooked in uncoated copper cookware
  • Poor excretion secondary to underdeveloped biliary systems, more common in infants
  • In Wilson’s disease, liver biopsy shows high levels of copper, the criterion for diagnosis
  • Elevated urinary copper (24-hour urine study) can also indicate Wilson disease
  • But low serum ceruloplasmin and serum copper are common in Wilson’s disease

Symptoms of copper deficiency include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Frequent illness
  • Weak and brittle bones
  • Memory, learning and walking difficulty
  • Cold sensitivity
  • Pale skin
  • Premature grey hair
  • Low haemoglobin count
  • Too much Zinc and Magnesium supplements which fight Copper for the same cell receptors

Symptoms of excess copper include:

  • Mood swings, irritability, depression, fatigue
  • Excitation, difficulty focusing, feeling out of control
  • Vomiting, Hematemesis (vomiting of blood)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Melena (black “tarry” faeces)
  • Coma
  • Jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of the skin and/or whites of eyes)
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Those with glucose-6-phosphate deficiency may have greater risk of hematologic effects of copper
  • Hemolytic anemia from burn treatment with copper compounds (rare)

Chronic (long-term) copper exposure may damage the liver and kidneys.

Gene Testing

Testing for the BRCA1 and BRAC2 gene for Breast Cancer Risk

Angelina Jolie had a double masectomy as a result of a positive BRCA1 test, which is not the right thing to do.
Some Doctors claim that a positive result means a 95% chance of developing breast cancer.
In fact, the true figures are more like 80% increased risk, but the risk of breast cancer can be REDUCED by 80% or more in most women by:
– A healthy diet free of toxins, chemicals, processed foods, eating organic foods wherever possible.
– Elimination of sugar, especially fructose in the diet, including sugar hidden in processed foods.
– A teaspoon of Turmeric every day, preferably as a tea in a mug of hot water, with freshly ground black pepper (containing Bioperine) to substantially increase the release of cancer-fighting curcuminoids.
– Or alternatively, a Curcumin capsules, the active ingredient in turmeric).
– Adequate supplements of Vitamin D3,
Selenium and
Lycopene.
– Building the immune system by exercise and keeping off excess weight.
In other words, anyone with the BRCA1 gene can reduce their cancer risk to that of a normal person, and considerably less risk if the above recommendations are carried out from an early age and strictly adhered to.
If you still want the test, fine, but LeanMachine maintains that the above recommendations can help prevent ALL types of cancer, as well as maintaining a healthy heart, and preventing “modern” diseases like Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinsons, Diabetes, etc.
Still want a double masectomy?
Remember that as soon as the surgeon starts cutting, any existing cancer cells will go into the bloodstream and circulate through every organ in the body.
Also we have the usual risks for any surgery – anaesthetics, infection, wrong drugs, side effects, incorrect dosage given, etc.

Testing Alzheimer’s gene

Yes, tests can now show if we have a high risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
I did consider this myself. I watched my father slowly wither away and die from Alzheimer’s disease, deeply affecting my mother, friends, family and myself.
However, I declined to have the test because regardless of the outcome, the same diet I recommend for cancer and cardiovascular disease is also effective for reducing risk of Alzheimer’s.
The only extra thing to add is two to four tablespoons of Coconut Oil every day, because Alzheimer’s is often known as “Diabetes of the Brain” when glucose sometimes cannot get into the brain because the brain becomes “insulin resistant”.
The brain uses more glucose than the rest of the body, however, we can feed the brain with coconut oil effectively as it feeds the brain via a different pathway,
delaying or even eliminating the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Most Alzheimer’s patients will improve their symptoms on coconut oil. Countries with the most Junk food, e.g. the USA have an Alzheimers death rate of 24.8 per 100,000 while Phillipines, Malaysia, Maldives and other tropical countries where coconut oil is an important part of the diet, rates are around 0.2 per 100,000.
Of course, Alzheimers deaths are very much under-reported, as the patient normally dies from pneumonia or organ failure, which is often the cause reported on the death certificate.
Turmeric is also important as the active ingredient
Curcumin helps to dissolve amyloid plaques which are present in Alzheimer’s patients.
Drug companies have tried for years to get rid of amyloid plaques, but the have made no difference to Alzheimer’s, because the plaques are the body’s way of protecting neurons for damage caused by high blood glocose, high insulin, toxic metals like mercury, aluminium from vaccinations, food and the environment.
Wise old men are sometimes referred to as a “Sage” and the reason is simple – eating sage leaves every day can help halt Alzheimer’s.

Immunology

The range of tests below can help determine the risk or check the progress of treatment of many infections and autoimmune diseases.
Diagnosis can be complex, and should always be under the guidance on an Immunologist who specialises in this area.
Some tests also relate to allergies and these should be under the guidance of an Allergist.

RH – Rheumatoid Factor

Normal range is less than 14 IU/ml, the lower the better.
Results over 14 can indicate Rheumatoid Arthritis, or some other auto-inmmune disease, where
For further diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the doctor may order a CCP (Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody) test.
Other tests may include a Synovial Fluid Analysis, where synovial fluid (which lubricates the joints) is drawn from the space between joints by a needle (not a blood test).

CCP (Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody)

This test helps diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis, often confirming a diagnosis months before symptoms appear.

Immunoglobulins A, G and M

These are three tests associated with the immune system.
Immunoglobulins are protein molecules that contain antibody activity. They are produced by terminal cells of B-cell differentiation known as “plasma cells”.
There are five immunoglobulin (Ig) classes: IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD and IgE.
In normal serum, approximately 80% is IgG, 15% is IgA, 5% is IgM, 0.2% is IgD and a trace is IgE. IgD and IgE are not tested as often.
Total immunoglobulin levels are normally considered the total of the three most common: IgG + IgM + IgA, ignoring IgD and IgE.

IgG – Immunoglobulin G

Normal serum range (adults) varying between labs, is 62 to 140 g/L (620 to 1400 mg/dL in USA, some labs say 767 to 1,590 mg/dL).
Babies (Newborn to 5 months) is 10 to 33 g/L (100 to 334 mg/dL in USA), increasing with age to level out at adulthood (18 years +).
IgG is a major antibody type in blood, and can enter tissues and fight infection.
IgG has 4 forms, all providing most antibody-based immunity against invading pathogens.
IgG is also the only antibody that can cross the placenta to provide passive immunity to the fetus.
– High IgG – may indicate a chronic infection such as AIDS.
High IgG is found in IgG MGUS, IgG multiple myeloma, chronic hepatitis, and MS (multiple sclerosis).
With multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow), tumour cells make only the monoclonal type of IgG antibody (IgM), and reduced levels of IgG and IgA are found.
Other conditions make polyclonal IgG antibodies.
Electrophoresis is required (a lab technique) to separate macromolecules based on size. A negative charge is applied causing proteins to move towards a positive charge.
Used for both DNA and RNA analysis, and to differentiate the monoclonal from the polyclonal cells.
– Low IgG – can be found in patients with congenital deficiencies.
Low IgG occurs in Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, where high IgM antibodies inhibit growth of B-cells that make IgG.
Low IgG can also indicate some types of leukemia and nephrotic syndrome (kidney damage).
Rarely, some people are born with insufficient IgG antibodies, and have a greater risk of infections.
Low IgG levels in adolescents or adults are classified as:

  • Mild to moderate 30 to 60 g/L (300 to 600 mg/dL)
  • Significant 10 to 29.9 g/L (100 to 299 mg/dL)
  • Profoundly reduced – under 10 g/L (under 100 mg/dL)

Adolescents and adults should have a total immunoglobulin (IgG + IgM + IgA) level greater than 60 g/L (600 mg/dL),
with confirmed normal antibody responses, to exclude humoral deficiency.
Total immunoglobulin levels of 40 to 60 g/L (400 to 600 mg/dL) or IgG levels of 20 to 40 g/L (200 to 400 mg/dL) may contain adequate amounts of antibody,
but this is unlikely if total immunoglobulin levels are under 40 g/L (400 mg/dL) or serum IgG levels are under 20 g/L (200 mg/dL).
A specialist should decide if a patient should start immunoglobulin replacement therapy, based on clinical history, physical findings, laboratory variables,
serum immunoglobulin levels, history of infections, concomitant diseases, antibody response to proteins and vaccines, radiographic studies, and pulmonary function tests.
Patients with profoundly or significantly reduced IgG levels and impaired antibody response are usually treated with replacement immunoglobulin
starting at 100 mg per kg of body weight per week, given either intravenously or subcutaneously.
Prophylactic antibiotics may also be needed in some patients.
Dosage and frequency is aimed to maintain serum IgG level greater than 60 g/L (600 mg/dL), and over 80 g/L (800 mg/dL) has potential to improve pulmonary outcome.
Serum IgG levels should be checked four to six month intervals to ensure that adequate trough levels are maintained.
Patients with mild-moderate reductions in IgG levels 30 to 60 g/L (300 to 600 mg/dL) and normal antibody responses generally do not require immunoglobulin replacement therapy,
but should be carefully monitored by a knowledgeable specialist.

IgA – Immunoglobulin A

Normal serum range (adults) is 8 to 35 g/L (80 to 350 mg/dL in USA, some labs say 61 – 356 mg/dL).
Babies 0 to 5 months: 0.7 to 3.7 g/L (7 to 37 mg/dL in USA), quickly increasing to age 2 to 4 years, then gradually increasing to stable adulthood (18+)
Sometimes a lumbar puncture is performed to test for IgA in Cerebrospinal Fluid (the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord) but this is uncommon as it has a higher risk.
Protects from infections of mucous membranes, typically in the lining of the mouth, airways, digestive tract, urogenital tract, preventing bacteria colonization.
Also found in fluids such as saliva, tears, and breast milk – see Secretory IgA below.
– High IgA – may indicate MGUS (IgA Monoclonal Gammopathy of Unknown Significance) or IgA multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow).
IgA may be higher in some autoimmune diseases, e.g. RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), and in cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis and other liver disease.
– Low IgA – may indicate some types of leukemia, nephrotic syndrome (kidney damage), intestinal problems (enteropathy), and ataxia-telangiectasia (rare inherited disease
affecting muscle coordination). Increases risk of autoimmune disease, and risk of severe reactions to receiving blood products.

SIgA – Secretory IgA (Subclass of IgA)

Normal Range (saliva): 118 to 641 mg/L (118 – 641 µg/mL in USA)
Optimum Range (saliva): 130 to 471 mg/L (130 – 471 µg/mL in USA)
Normal range (fecal): 5.1 to 20.4 g/L (51 – 204 mg/dL in USA) (Genova Lab range).
​Secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA) is a subclass of Immunoglobulin A (IgA), tested in saliva or feces,
although also found in mucous secretions of tear glands, mammary glands, respiratory system, genito-urinary tract, and the gastrointestinal tract.
SIgA is not synthesized by mucosal epithelial cells or derived from blood but is produced by B-lymphocytes adjacent to the mucosal cells, then transported through the cell interiors, and released into the secretions from the cells.
SIgA protects the oral cavity, lungs, gut and other mucosal areas from invading pathogens.
SIgA has highest levels in the morning and lowest levels in the evening, but is dependant on flow rate.
IgA levels in saliva are affected by Concentrations normally decrease as flow rates increase, so flow rate is measured to express SIgA secretion as a function of time.
To maintain healthy SIgA levels, increase intake of Choline, EFA’s, glutathione, glycine, phosphatidylcholine, Vitamin C and zinc, all essential for SIgA production.

Anti tTg IgA, tTG Antibodies IgA, Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG), Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies IgA

Serum test, a subclass of IgA, for monitoring adherence to gluten-free diet in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (cutaneous manifestation of Coeliac disease) and celiac disease.
Reference Range:
Less than 4.0 U/mL (negative)
4.0 to 10.0 U/mL (weak positive)
Greater than 10.0 U/mL (positive)
These tests are not sensitive to age.
Usually tested along with IgG to help evaluate certain autoimmune conditions, commonly celiac disease.
If testing for celiac disease, the patient must eat gluten-containing foods up to 7 days before the test, otherwise no antibodies may be evident in the test result.
In celiac disease, the body produces IgA and IgG that attack tTG: immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG).
Measuring the IgA form of tTG antibody in the blood is more useful in detecting celiac disease as tTG is made in the small intestine, where gluten causes inflammation and irritation in sensitive people.

IgM – Immunoglobulin M

Normal serum range (adults) is 0.45 to 2.5 g/L (45 to 250 mg/dL in USA).
Some labs say 0.37 to 2.86 g/L (37 to 286 g/dL).
Babies 0 to 5 months: 0.26 to 1.22 g/L (26 to 122 mg/dL in USA) gradually increasing to adult range (18+)
Women usually have higher IgM levels than men.
Often discovered by investigation of other conditions.
There are two types: Natural IgM and Immune IgM.
Natural IgM occurs in the body at all times, and Immune IgM responds to invaders in the body.
IgM is a large molecule and in non-specific in it’s attack role, and is the first line of defense to invaders, followed by IgG which is slower to respond,
but has a better targeting role for an individual invader.
Antibody measurements assist diagnosis of conditions, such as infections, immunodeficiency, autoimmune disease, and certain types of cancer.
Insufficient immunoglobulins increases susceptibility to infections. High immunoglobulins may indicate an overactive immune system (auto-immune condition).
Found mostly in blood and lymph fluid, and the first the body makes to fight new infections.
Expressed on the surface of B cells (monomer) and in secreted form (pentamer) with very high avidity (forms multiple binding sites with antigen).
Eliminates pathogens in early stage B-cell mediated (humoral) immunity before there is enough IgG.
– High IgM – may indicate a new infection, IgM MGUS, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, early viral hepatitis,
mononucleosis, rheumatoid arthritis, nephrotic syndrome (kidney damage), or parasite infection.
– Low IgM – occurs in multiple myeloma, some kinds of leukemia, and some inherited immune diseases.
Causes of Low IgM:

  • Smoking with alcohol consumption
  • Endurance exercise and over-training
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Lupus
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Immune thrombocytopenia
  • Diabetes
  • Selective immunoglobulin M deficiency, a rare and sometimes hereditary disorder
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare immune deficiency disorder
  • Lymphoid nodular hyperplasia
  • Leukemia

Smoking alone or alcohol consumption alone has little effect on IgM, but together they signigicantly reduce IgM.
Some patients have no symptoms, others may develop serious recurring infections.
Supplements shown to increase IgM:

  • Lycopene shown beneficial in human and animal studies, from red foods such as tomatoes and watermelon
  • Ginseng shown beneficial in animal studies
  • Astragalus shown beneficial in animal studies

Causes of High IgM:

  • Viral and/or bacterial infections
  • Some autoimmune disorders, including:
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Kidney damage, where proteins such as albumin and IgG are lost through urine (nephrotic syndrome), but serum IgM conversely increases
  • Hyper-immunoglobulin M syndromes, genetic immunodeficiency disorders with high IgM and low levels of other immunoglobulins
  • Louis–Bar syndrome (ataxia-telangiectasia), a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease
  • Cancers, such as multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma)

Health Effects of High IgM:
1: Metabolic Syndrome, a condition characterized by three or more of: fat around the stomach, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high triglycerides, and low HDL-C levels.
2: High IgM Levels Increase All-Cause Mortality Risk
To decrease IgM levels, work on resolving underlying health issue with a health care professional.

IgD – Immuglobin D

Normal range (adults) is 0.003 to 0.03 g/L (.3 to 3.0 mg/dL in USA). Some labs say anything less than 10 mg/dL is normal.
Many normal, healthy people have undetectable levels of IgD.
IgD fights bacteria, functioning as an antigen receptor on B cells that have not been exposed to antigens.
Shown to activate basophils and mast cells to produce antimicrobial factors.
– High IgD – can indicate IgD multiple myeloma, not as common as IgA or IgG multiple myeloma.
– Low or absent IgD – does not appear to increase infection risk. Not well-researched, so rarely tested.

IgE – Immuglobin E

Normal range (adults) is only a trace amount, .0002 to .02 g/L (or 200 to 20000 ug/L or 83 to 8333 U/mL) or (.002 to .2 mg/dL in USA).
Binds to allergens, triggers histamine release from basophils and mast cells.
Involved in allergic reactions, and protects from parasitic worms.
Frequently increased in parasitic infestations and atopic inviduals (with allergic hypersensitivity).
– High IgE – may indicate parasitic infection.
Also found in those with allergic reactions, asthma, atopic dermatitis, some cancers or certain autoimmune diseases.
Rarely, high IgE may mean multiple myeloma.
– Low IgE – may indicate ataxia-telangiectasia (rare inherited disease affecting muscle coordination).

Complement Tests

Nine major complement proteins, important for the innate immune system, are numbered C1 to C9.
These nine proteins help the body recognise foreign disease-causing cells. Certain health issues may cause deficiencies in these proteins or vice versa.
The numbering generally represents the order in which they react in a cascade of events (except C4).
There are three separate reaction pathways:
1. The the Classical activation pathway
2. The Alternative activation pathway
3. The Membrane attack pathway
Those with low early complement proteins (C1 to C4) are more prone to infections.
Low complement levels can also be a factor in development of autoimmune diseases.
Those with low late complement proteins (C5 to C9) can have a higher risk of infections caused by Neisseria (a type of bacteria that colonise mucosal surfaces).
Neisseria has two forms in humans, one causing ghonorrhea, the other causing bacterial meningitis which can lead to meningococcal septicaemia.
Some people inherit deficiencies in these proteins, some acquire deficiencies, others have these proteins “used up” by some disease, usually an autoimmune disease.
Normal immunology testing is only for C3 and C4, with other tests required if there appears to be an inherited or aquired deficiency in one or more complement proteins.
Reference range (those older than 16 years):Total hemolytic complement (CH50): 30 to 75 U/mL (41 to 90 hemolytic units).
Total complement (CH50) is used to screen for suspected complement deficiencies before ordering individual C1 to C9 complement tests,
as a deficiency of a single individual component of the complement cascade can result in an undetectable total complement level.
High levels of CH50 combined with high C3 and C4 indicate systemic inflammation, connective-tissue diseases including, but not limited to, SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus),
RA (rheumatoid arthritis), severe bacterial and viral infections, and others like cancer, diabetes mellitus, and myocardial infarction.
Also hypermetabolic states such as hyperthyroidism and pregnancy can be linked to high CH50 levels.
Low results may be a consequence of infectious or autoimmune processes.
Complement component activity varies. Those with rheumatoid arthritis can have high complement serum levels but low complement levels in joint fluid.
Normal C3 levels combined with undetectable C4 levels can indicate congenital C4 deficiency.
Congenital deficiencies of C1, C2 or C4 results in an inability to clear immune complexes.
Undetectable C1q levels combined with zero total complement (CH50) and normal C2, C3, and C4 suggests a congenital C1 deficiency, however inherited C1 deficiency is rare.
Absent (or low) C2 levels in the presence of normal C3 and C4 values are consistent with a C2 deficiency.
Low C2 levels with low C3 and C4 levels can indicate a complement-consumptive process such as infectious or autoimmune disease.
Low C2 and C4 levels with C3 levels may indicate C1-INH (C1 esterase inhibitor) deficiency.
Note: This test is different from C1q binding, which is an assay for circulating immune complexes.

C1, C1Q Complement Level

Reference range: 1.2 to 2.2 g/L (12 to 22 mg/dL USA)
Normally tested when Total Complement (CH50) level is undetectable, to diagnose congenital C1 deficiency.
Also to diagnose acquired deficiency of C1-INH (C1 Esterase Inhibitor).
Complement C1 is composed of 3 subunits: C1q, C1r, and C1s. C1q level indicates the amount of C1 present.
C1q recognises and binds to immunoglobulin complexed to antigen, initiating the complement cascade.
Like the more common C2 deficiency, C1 deficiency is associated with increased risk of immune complex disease such as SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus),
polymyositis, glomerulonephritis, and Henoch-Schonlein purpura.
Low C1 levels have also been reported in patients with abnormal immunoglobulin levels (Bruton’s and common variable hypogammaglobulinemia and severe combined immunodeficiency),
likely due to increased catabolism.

C2 Complement Level

Reference Range: 25 to 47 U/mL.
Normally tested when the patient with a low or absent (undetectable) hemolytic complement (CH50).
If the C2 result is under 15 U/mL, then C3, C4, and C2AG levels will be tested.
C2 deficiency is the most common inherited complement deficiency, although rare.
Homozygous (two of the same allele) C2 deficiency has an approximate prevalence ranging from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 40,000.
Heterozygotes (specific genotypes with 1 each of different alleles) C2 deficiency has an approximate prevalence ranging from 1 in 50 to 1 in 100).
Around half of the homozygous patients are clinically normal, but in one third,
SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) or discoid lupus erythematosus occurs.
People with both SLE and a deficient C2 level frequently have a normal anti-ds DNA titer.
Many have lupus-like skin lesions and photosensitivity, but immunofluorescence studies can fail to demonstrate immunoglobulin or complement
along the epidermal-dermal junction.
Diseases associated with deficient C2 level include dermatomyositis, glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, atrophodema, cold urticaria, inflammatory bowel disease
and recurrent infections.
Test results suggesting C2 deficiency include zero or undetectable hemolytic complement (CH50), with normal C3 and C4 values.

C3 Complement Level

Reference range Males: 8.8 to 25.2 g/L (88 to 252 mg/dL USA)
Reference range Females: 8.8 to 20.6 g/L (88 to 206 mg/dL USA)

C4 Complement Level

Reference range Males: 1.2 to 7.2 g/L (12 to 72 mg/dL USA)
Reference range Females: 1.3 to 7.5 g/L (13 to 75 mg/dL USA)
Complement C4 plays an important role in eliminating certain infections.
– High C4 – may indicate cancer or ulcerative colitis.
– Low C4 – may indicate:

  • Autoimmune disorders and collagen vascular diseases, e.g. lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bacterial infections
  • Hepatitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Rejection of a kidney transplant
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disease affecting skin, joints, kidneys and other organs
  • Lupus nephritis (kidney disorder as a result of systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Cirrhosis (liver damage)
  • Glomerulonephritis (kidney disease)
  • Hereditary angioedema (rare but serious autoimmune disease, causes swelling in various body parts

C5 to C9 Complement Level

Reference range (C5): 29 to 53 U/ml.
Reference range (C6): 32 to 57 U/ml.
Reference range (C7): 36 to 60 U/ml.
Reference range (C8): 33 to 58 U/ml.
Reference range (C9): 37 to 61 U/ml.
Deficiencies of the late complement proteins (C5, C6, C7, C8, and C9) are unable to form the MAC (lytic membrane attack complex) and have increased susceptibility to neisserial infections.
Absent C5 to C9 levels with normal C3 and C4 levels are consistent with C5 deficiency.
Absent C5 to C9 levels with low C3 and C4 levels suggest complement consumption (Used up by an autoimmune disease).
Normal results indicate normal C5 to C9 levels and normal functional activity, although in rare cases, although C5 to C9 levels seem OK,
the protein can be non-functional, and further tests are required to determine correct function of C5 to C9.
See notes above under the heading Complements.
Additional notes re C7:
Most cases of C7 deficiency have neisserial infections, but rarely cases of SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis),
scleroderma or pyoderma gangrenosum.
Additional notes re C9:
In the Japanese population, C9 deficiency is common, almost 1%.
Lytic activity of C9-deficient serum is decreased, but assembly of C5b-C8 complexes will result in a transmembrane channel with lytic activity,
although lytic activity is reduced.
Many C9-deficient patients show no symptoms, but may still present with invasive neisserial infections.

ANA – Anti-Nuclear Antibodies Screen

ANA tests identify serum antibodies that bind to autoantigens in cell nuclei.
Most of these antibodies are IgG, with IgM and IgA also sometimes detected.
The ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) method is mostly used.
Normal Range: Less than 1.0 U (or less than or equal to 1:40 dilution) is classed as a negative result.
Positive range:
1.1 to 2.9 U is weakly positive.
3.0 to 5.9 U is positive.
Greater than or equal to 6.0 U is highly positive.
A positive result normally indicates presence of an autoimmune disease where the body attacks connective tissue, and may indicate:

  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Scleroderma
  • Polymyositis-dermatomyositis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Some labs give results as 1:40 (good) while a result of 1:640 suggests an autoimmune condition. This is a measure of how much dilution of the blood specimen is required before the antibodies can no longer be observed.
Other tests will be required to diagnose a specific autoimmune condition.
Note that insufficient Vitamin D3 can cause some autoimmune conditions. Although Vitamin D3 increases immunity, it also moderates an immune system running out of control.

Allergy Testing

If the Eosinophil test (see under Haematology) is high, allergies may be the cause.
There are many allergy tests. Some are serum (blood) tests, and the sample may be tested in vitro exposed to a mixture of various allergens.
Allergens may be pollen, mould, animal fur or saliva, dust mites, birds, and various foods, the common culprits being:

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Cows Milk
  • Soy
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Wheat (gluten)
  • Seafoods
  • Nuts
  • Antibiotics

When allergic reactions occur, levels of IgE are tested, and in some cases IgA

Anaphylactic Foods

These are foods which may cause enough swelling around the mouth, tongue and throat that breathing is difficult, and choking may occur.
Peanuts are perhaps the most famous food for causing breathing difficulties.
Usually overlooked by doctors: Lack of vitamin D, lack of sunlight, lack of very small exposure to these foods as a fetus or as a newborn are significant factors in these conditions.

Other Testing

The doctor may order many other types of tests, depending on results of previous tests combined with previous medical history, age, sex, current symptoms, family history, etc.

Sex Hormone Testing

Doctors can order an Androgen Study or Sex Hormone Profile, and may include any or all of the below tests and more:

Estrogens including E2 (estradiol), E1 (estrone), E3 (estriol)

E1 and E2 are the main active estrogens, as E3 is generally the pregnancy estrogen.
The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone to estradiol, and converts androstenedione to estrone.
Many other steroids can stimulate the estrogen receptor independent of aromatase.
This includes xenoestrogens such as BPA (Bisphenol A) and other plastics in the environment and unfortunately in the diet (microwave dinners, etc).
This is why LeanMachine recommends glass containers for all foods. BPA free plastics are just as bad. BPA has been replaced with BPS, and
although BPS is not taken up as much by estrogen receptors, once in the body it is very hard to excrete, so can easily build up to harmful levels.
E2 is mainly produced in ovaries and testes by aromatization of testosterone
High estrogen may come from estrogen secreting tumours, medications, exposure to BPA, pthalates and other toxins in plastics, from obesity (every fat cell can produce estrogens), and many other factors.
High estrogen may be a result of unusually high levels of testosterone, from testosterone replacement therapy or testicular tumour, which converts to estrogen by the enzyme aromatase.
Aromatase inhibitor drugs such as anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara) and exemestane have largely replaced the older tamoxifen to help treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Anti-estrogenic foods and supplements include cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower brussel sprouts, cabbage), onions, garlic, healthy fats
(coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, raw nuts), chrysin (passionflower),
DIM (diindolylmethane),
citrus bioflavonoids (diosmin, hesperidin,
rutin, naringin, tangeretin, diosmetin, narirutin, neohesperidin,
nobiletin, quercetin),
turmeric,
Curcumin,
fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented soy, fermented raw dairy, apple cider vinegar, kombucha).

Progesterone

I will omit the reference range here, as there are too many variables.
Progesterone levels are influenced by the time through the monthly cycle, age, pregnancy status, menstruating or post-menopusal, whether uterus and/or ovaries have been removed, if there are cysts on the ovaries, problems with the adrenal glands, and many other factors.
The test can help determine the cause of infertility, track ovulation, assist diagnosis of an ectopic or failing pregnancy, monitor pregnancy health, monitor progesterone replacement therapy, or assist diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding.
Men also have small amounts of progesterone.
If supplementation is recommended, see a doctor who can prescribe natural progesterone from a compounding chemist.
Most doctors will simply prescribe Progestin, an artificial and incomplete copy of real progesterone, with side effects perhaps worse than any benefit.
Women pregnant with twins, triplets, etc will usually have higher progesterone than those with a single fetus.
High progesterone levels can be seen sometimes with:

  • Some types of ovarian cysts
  • Non-viable pregnancies (molar pregnancies)
  • A rare type of ovarian cancer
  • Adrenal overproduction of progesterone
  • Adrenal cancer
  • CAM (Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia)

Low progesterone levels can be associated with:

  • Toxemia late in pregnancy
  • Poor function of ovaries
  • Amenorrhea (Lack of menstruation)
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Fetal death or miscarriage

Testosterone

Required by men and women. Women have much less testosterone, but are more sensitive to it. Most testosterone is bound to SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) which makes the molecule so large, it can no longer have any effect. Free Testosterone (not bound to SHBG) is the only effective testosterone.
Many labs will only measure total testosterone, and calculate free testosterone by measuring SHBG.
There are many causes of low testosterone, including disease, obesity, stress, insomnia and medications.
If blood tests show low testosterone and high LH, it may indicate a testicular problem in men, such as testicular failure or Klinefelter’s syndrome.
If blood tests show low testosterone and normal or low LH, it may indicate a problem with the pituitary gland.

SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin)

Attaches to other hormones to regulate their effectiveness when the body produces more hormones than we require.
This is a natural part of the self-regulation body system to prevent skyrocketing or insufficient hormones.

LH (Luteinizing Hormone)

Luteinizing hormone (LH), also called lutropin or lutrophin, British spelling luteinising hormone.
An acute rise of LH (“LH surge”) in women triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum (a hormone-secreting structure developed in an ovary after an ovum (egg) has been discharged, but degenerates after a few days unless pregnancy has begun.
LH is secreted by the gonadotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland in the brain.
This signals the testes (in men) or the adrenals (in women) to produce testosterone.

DHEA

Often called the “Mother of all hormones” as levels can be a thousand times higher than other hormones.
DHEA is mainly made by the adrenal glands, and used to make testosterone and many other hormones.
Unusually high levels of DHEA can be caused by adrenal cancer or hyperplasia, and are aromatised into estrogen or other hormones.

Cortisol

Commonly called the “stress hormone”, or the “fight or flight hormone”.
We all need some cortisol, but long-term high cortisol, usually caused by chronic stress, is very bad for the body.
Cortisol levels vary considerably through the day, so testing is usually carried out at multiple intervals through the day.

Prolactin

Prolactin is a peptide hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain.
Primarily associated with lactation, and vital in breast development during pregnancy and lactation.
Doctors test for prolactin in women with galactorrhea (unexplained milk secretion) or irregular menses or infertility, and in men with impaired sexual function and milk secretion.
If prolactin is high, a doctor will test thyroid function and ask first about other conditions and medications known to raise prolactin secretion.
Prolactin is downregulated by dopamine and is upregulated by estrogen.
Hyperprolactinaemia (abnormally high serum prolactin levels) may cause galactorrhea (production and spontaneous flow of breast milk)
and disruptions in the normal menstrual period in women, and hypogonadism, infertility and erectile dysfunction in men.
High levels of prolactin (sometimes due to a prolactin secreting tumour) inhibits the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone,
resulting in reduced LH (Luteinizing hormone, a gonadotropin) secretion, leading to reduced testosterone production.
Normal prolactin levels:
Women: Less than 500 mIU/L (20 ng/mL or µg/L)
Men: Less than 450 mI U/L (18 ng/mL or µg/L)

Beta-HCG

Also known as β-HCG, Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), quantitative blood pregnancy test, quantitative hCG blood test, quantitative serial beta-hCG test.
This Serum Quantitative test is the sum of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) plus the hCG beta-subunit, for early detection of pregnancy.
hCG consists of alpha (α) and beta (β) chains associated to the intact hormone.
The α-chains in all four of these glycoprotein hormones are virtually identical, while β-chains have greatly differing structures,
responsible for the respective specific hormonal functions.
Reference values change during pregnancy, and can double every 2 to 3 days.
Generally a level below 5 indicates no pregnancy, while a level over 25 confirms a pregnancy.
Results between 6 and 24 are a grey area, best re-tested later, or confirmed by ultrasound after 5 to 6 weeks from gestation.
Note: This is a much more accurate and useful test than hGC Urine tests available over the counter.

Range (mIU/mL)
Weeks of pregnancy is defined as completed weeks beginning with the start of the last menstruation phase.
Male 0−3
Female
nonpregnant 0−5
postmenopausal 0−8
pregnant
Weeks Gestation
3 6−71
4 10−750
5 217−7138
6 158−31,795
7 3697−163,563
8 32,065−149,571
9 63,803−151,410
10 46,509−186,977
12 27,832−210,612
14 13,950−62,530
15 12,039−70,971
16 9040−56,451
17 8175−55,868
18 8099−58,176

Levels are high if there is a testicular tumour in men, or pregnancy in women. Often used as a pregnancy test.

MSH (Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone) Blood Test

MSH is an anti-inflammatory, regulatory hormone made in the hypothalamus, controlling hormone production, modulating the immune system and controlling nerve function.
Also caled: Alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating Hormone, α-MSH.
It is made when leptin is able to activate its receptor in the POMC (Proopio-MelanoCortin) pathway.
If the receptor is damaged by peripheral immune effects, such as the release of too many pro-inflammatory cytokines, then the receptor doesn’t work right and MSH isn’t made.
Leptin controls storage of fatty acids as fat, so MSH and leptin are a major source of interest for obesity control.
MSH controls hypothalamic production of melatonin and endorphins. Without MSH, deficiency creates chronic non-restful sleep and chronic increased perception of pain, respectively.
MSH deficiency causes chronic fatigue and chronic pain. MSH also controls many protective effects in the skin, gut and mucus membranes of the nose and lung.
MSH also controls the peripheral release of cytokines. When there is insufficient MSH, peripheral inflammatory effects are multiplied.
MSH also controls pituitary function, with 60% of MSH deficient patients not having enough antidiuretic hormone, causing patients to be constantly thirsty,
urinate frequently and often have unusual sensitivity to static electrical shocks.
40% of MSH deficient patients will not regulate male hormone production, and another 40% will not regulate proper control of ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTropic Hormone) and cortisol.

ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTropic Hormone)

Normal range: 9 to 52 pg/mL or 10 to 60 pg/mL depending on the lab.
Always tested early morning, as ACTH is highest 6 to 8 am and lowest around 11 pm. No ranges are specified for later in the day.
Normally tested in conjunction with a Cortisol test.
ACTH is a hormone produced in the anterior (front) pituitary gland in the brain, and regulates levels of cortisol (the steroid hormone),
which is released from the adrenal glands
Also known as:

  • Highly-sensitive ACTH
  • Corticotropin
  • Cosyntropin (drug form of ACTH)

Used to detect diseases associated with too much or too little cortisol, possibly caused by:

  • Adrenal or pituitary malfunction
  • Pituitary tumour
  • Adrenal tumour
  • Lung tumour

General

Some of the hormone tests above are blood tests, some are urine tests, some are saliva tests.
I have chosen not to discuss these tests in detail here, as it would fill an encyclopaedia.
These tests vary enormously with age, sex, pre or post menopause, time of the month for women, and so many other factors.
Doctors specialising in this field are best, as typical GP’s often do not have a great understanding of this complex problem.

Other general health tests

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI = weight (kg) divided by (height in metres squared).
Note: BMI does not allow for the amount of muscle compared to body fat, so a professional weight-lifter may have a BMI in the obese range, but still have a healthy body composition (more muscle than fat).

Underweight < 18.5 kg/m2
Normal 18.5 – 24.9 Caucasian
Overweight 25.0 – 29.9
Obesity class I 30.0 – 34.9
Obesity class II 35.0 – 39.9
Obesity class III (extreme, morbid) ≥ 40.0

 

Blood Pressure (Systolic / Diastolic)

At doctor’s office (average 5 measurements with lowest and highest readings discarded) < 140 / 90 mmHg
Ambulatory BP monitor < 130 / 85
With diabetes or stroke or cardiac risk < 130 / 80

Heart Rate (HR) or Pulse

Bradycardia < 60 beats per minute
Normal 60 – 80
Tachycardia > 100

Respiration Rate (RR)

Bradypnea < 12 breaths per minute
Normal (eupnea) 12 – 18
Tachypnea > 18

Body Temperature

Fever > 37.5 ° C
Normal 36.5 – 37.5 ° C (approximate)
Hypothermia < 35.0 ° C

Five Blood Tests for Everyone Over 50

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C probably kills more people than any other virus, and 2014 data from the CDC in the USA shows hepatitis C–related deaths are at an all-time high.
Because this liver disease usually shows little or no symptoms, around half of those infected do not know they carry the virus.
Left untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure, all contributing to about 20,000 deaths in the USA alone.
A simple blood test can diagnose Hepatitis C, and if the test is positive, Hepatitis C is effectively treated before the liver damage becomes life-threatening.
For those born between 1945 and 1965, the USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) recommends a single hepatitis C test.
For those born before 1945 or after 1965, USPSTF reccomend testing only for high risk people, such as those
who had blood transfusions before 1992, injection drug users, or health care workers who have been stuck with a patient’s needle.

Blood glucose

For those overweight, or have have high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes, there is a high risk for diabetes.
If blood glucose tests normal repeatedly, then once a year is often enough to repeat the test.
If pre-diabetes is diagnosed, immediate action is required to prevent the condition turning into full-blown diabetes.
The best way to prevent full-blown diabetes is to eliminate sugar, carbohydrates and processed foods from the diet.

Lipid panel

The lipid panel tests for LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
See notes above.

STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections)

The doctor may ask if any sexual activity has changed (you or your partner).
Although STI’s are unusual among older adults, they are increasing.
Get tested if there are any doubts, as most STI’s can be easily treated and cleared up quickly.

Cancer Tests

Many tests are available, For example, abnormal levels of liver enzymes may indicate liver tumours before any symptoms are evident, allowing early surgery intervention, reducing other dangerous treatments and improving chance of recovery.

CA 15-3 (Cancer Antigen 15-3

This test is used mainly to monitor the treatment for metastatic (spreading) breast cancer.
CA 15-3 is a protein shed by tumour cells, often increased in breast cancer, indicating how the cancer has progressed or how the treatment has reduced the cancer.
CA 15-3 can be elevated in healthy people and in those with other cancers, so is not accurate enough to screen for early breast cancer.
Negative results do not mean there is no cancer, and positive results do not mean there is cancer.
CA 15-3 may be elevated by some other cancers, or by other non-cancerous conditions.
Related tests are Tumour markers, CEA, HER-2/neu, hormone receptor status.

<h3>HER-2, also called HER2/neu, is the acronym for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2</h3>

Tests for HER-2:

FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization) test uses fluorescent probes, looking at the number of HER2 gene copies in a tumor cell.
More than two copies of the HER2 gene indicatesthat the cancer is HER2 positive.​

IHC (ImmunoHistoChemistry) test measures tumour production of the HER2 protein, ranked as 0, 1+, 2+, or 3+.
If results are 3+ the cancer is HER2-positive.
If the results are 2+, a FISH test determines if the cancer is HER2-positive.
If the HER 2 test is positive, it indicates that cancer can be treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab, an immune treatment), also Perjeta and Kadcyla.
A HER2 positive result also means that the cancer is most likely aggressive, so it is advised to start treatment as soon as possible to improve  survival and help prevent recurrence.

CA 19-9 (Cancer Antigen 19-9)

High CA 19-9 levels are usually caused by pancreatic cancer, but also by other cancers and by infections in the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
Related tests: Bilirubin, CEA, liver function tests, tumour markers

CA-125, also known as Cancer antigen 125

CA-125 is a protein produced by ovarian cancer cells, but also in some healthy women, and used as a marker for ovarian cancer.
CA-125 levels may be high in non-cancerous conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, excessive abdomen fluid (ascites), liver disease, pregnancy and menstruation.
Related tests: Tumour markers, BRCA-1 and BRCA-2

BRCA-1 and BRCA-2

See info above under the Gene Testing heading.

Calcitonin, also called Thyrocalcitonin

The Calcitonin test helps diagnose and/or monitor:

  • C-cell hyperplasia, a benign condition that may or may not progress to MTC
  • MTC (Medullary thyroid cancer), a malignant condition
  • Screen risk for MEN2 (multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2)

Age, pregnancy, lactation and food can influence calcitonin concentration in healthy people.
Reference ranges for some calcitonin chemiluminescent assays:
Males: Less than 8.8 pg/mL (ng/L)
Females: Less than 5.8 pg/mL (ng/L)
Athyroidal (without a functioning thyroid gland) people: Less than 0.5 pg/ml (ng/L)
Calcium Infusion test raises calcitonin levels.
Peak calcium infusion (IMMULITE 2000 calcitonin assay) test:
Males: Less than or equal to 130 pg/mL
Females: Less than or equal to 90 pg/mL
Normal range for peak calcitonin following calcium infusion is 100 to 200 ng/L
Specific reference intervals have not been established, so must be interpreted by the doctor along with other tests.
A high level of calcitonin should lead the doctor to perform a thyroid biopsy, scan and ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
About 25% of MTC cases relate to an inherited mutation in the RET gene, leading to MEN2.
Only 1 copy from either parent increases risk of MTC, occurring mostly in the 40 to 60 age group, but can occur at any age, more prevalent in women.

AFP (alpha-fetoprotein)

There are different AFP tests for different reasons, performed on a blood sample, urine sample, or amniotic fluid sample.
Other names for the test: Total AFP, MSAFP (Maternal Serum AFP), and Alpha-Fetoprotein-L3 percent (%)
Tested between the 14th and 22nd week of pregnancy as a screen for neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
Elevated AFP in maternal serum or amniotic fluid during pregnancy may indicate:

  • Spina Bifida
  • Anencephalia
  • Atresia of the oesophagus
  • Multiple pregnancy

Down Syndrome markers:

Amniotic Fluid AFP (alpha-fetoprotein)

Maternal AFP (Alpha-Fetoprotein Test) levels, together with Beta-HCG, gestational age, maternal weight and other parameters, risk of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) is calculated.
In Trosomy 21, maternal serum AFP concentration is decreased, while maternal serum Beta-HCG is about double the normal level, and Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein A (PAPP-A) is reduced.
If a woman was screened for Down’s syndrome or open neural tube defects in a previous pregnancy, the levels of the screening markers in that pregnancy can be used to adjust the marker levels in the current pregnancy.
Women with a false positive in one pregnancy is likely to have a false positive again in a subsequent pregnancy.
Twin / Down Syndrome markers:
Serum marker levels are raised in twin pregnancies, so twin pregnancies pose problems as one fetus may be affected and the other may not.
About 2% of pregnancies affected by Down’s syndrome are twins. If the twins are dizygotic (Fraternal, non-identical), the risk of Down’s syndrome for each baby individually is the same as for a single baby (around 1 in 800 pregnancies).
If the twins are monozygotic (identical), the risk to both of having Down’s syndrome is also around 1 in 800.
A combination of Nuchal Translucency scanning and Serum screening may aid in risk assessment of Down’s syndrome for twin pregnancies.
FNT (Fetal Nuchal Translucency) screening uses ultrasound to measure size of the nuchal pad at the nape of the fetal neck, performed between 11 weeks + 2 days and 14 weeks + 1 day.
Increased nuchal translucency reflects fetal heart failure, typically seen in any serious anomaly of the heart and great arteries, and strongly associated with a chromosomal abnormality. In one study, 84% of karyotypically proven trisomy (where the fetus has 47 chromosomes instead of 46), 21 fetuses had a nuchal translucency >3 mm at 10-13 weeks of gestation (as did 4.5% of chromosomally normal fetuses).
The greater the extent of FNT, the greater the risk of abnormality.
FNT is a straightforward test but will have a 20% false positive rate (FPR) if the thresholds are set to detect 85% (if used alone and maternal age adjusted).
Adding nasal bone screening during the same examination may increase sensitivity further and reduce the FPR.
One study concluded that an absent nasal bone should be considered as a highly predictive marker of Down’s syndrome.
Afro-Caribbean women have different marker levels than Caucasian women, heavier women have different markers than lighter women, and those who smoke have different markers again.
Conclusion: These markers only pose a risk level, and do not guarantee a result one way or the other.

AFP also tests for cancer.
AFP can be present at very low levels in non-pregnant people, and the test may indicate other problems.
The Quantitative test, reporting the concentration of AFP in the sample, is the normal AFP test, but a less expensive Qualitative test may be used sometimes, reporting only a normal or high concentration.
AFP is made by the liver and yolk sac of a fetus, and is the main protein in the first three months of development,
but decreases by age 1 to the very low levels found in adults.
However, AFP is a tumour marker for hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), germ cell tumours (testicular and ovarian cancers), also the rare nonseminomatous germ cell tumors usually found in the pineal gland of the brain.
AFP can also be elevated in some forms of biliary tract, stomach or pancreas cancers.
AFP may also elevated in Cirrhosis or chronic active hepatitis.

AFP Reference range:
Non-pregnant adults, high blood levels, over 500 ng/ml (nanograms/milliliter) of AFP are seen in only a few situations, such as:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary cancer of the liver
  • Germ cell tumors (a type of cancer of the testes and ovaries, such as embryonal carcinoma and yolk sac tumors)
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia, a severely disabling and rare genetic neurodegenerative disease

Moderately elevated values are found in:

  • Alcohol-mediated liver cirrhosis
  • Acute viral hepatitis
  • Carriers of HBsAg (surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus), indicating current hepatitis B infection

Pregnancy Tests

See also AFP test above.

pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A)

To be advised…

Rare Tests

Protein C and Protein S

Other names for these tests:
– Protein C Antigen and/or Functional Blood Test
– Protein C, Functional or Antigen Test
– Protein S, Functional or Antigen Test
Protein C and Protein S are separate blood tests, often performed together. The tests are meant to assess either the functioning or the abundance of these proteins.
Protein C is an anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory enzyme. It requires both Protein S, a coenzyme, and Vitamin K to function.
It is similar to aspirin in its “blood-thinning” effects.
Protein C is made in the liver, while Protein S made in the inner (endotheliel) lining of blood vessels.
Both proteins circulate in the bloodstream.
Blood clotting is essential to minimise blood loss if injured, but it is regulated, because if the bood is too thin, we can bleed out and die,
but if blood is too thick, it can form clots when we do not need them, and restrict or block off blood supply, potentially causing loss of a limb or organ, and sometimes life.
About 1 in 300 people have protein C deficiency, which is classed as a hereditaty condition, although more people aquire it from taking Warfarin.
Most people with this deficiency have few problems with clotting, as long as diet and lifestyle factors are kept in a healthy manner, and any sudden clotting is attended to promptly.
If two people, both with Protein C deficiency, have offspring, then that child is more likely to have a very severe case of clotting.
Protein C is activated during the clotting process, to prevent too much clotting, by removing blood clotting factors,
and stimulating plasmin, a protein that degrades blood clots (fibrinolysis).
Deficiencies in these proteins can cause hypercoagulable blood (abnormal blood coagulation) and internal blood clotting (thrombosis).
There are several classifications, characterized by Protein C and S deficiencies:
– Type I is caused by insufficient quantity.
– Type II is caused by defective function.
– Type III (Protein S only) is caused by a low amount of active-form Protein S, but normal levels of total Protein S.
If there is a thrombotic (clotting) episode, then the test has to be performed only after a period of 10 days.
Low Levels of Protein C and Protein S may indicate:

  • Serious infections
  • Kidney disorder
  • Liver disorder
  • HIV
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Various cancers
  • Vitamin K deficiency

High Protein C and Protein S levels are rarely of concern.
Note: Test results are NOT to be interpreted as a “stand-alone” test.
Results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information.
Factors that may interfere with the results include surgery, oral contraceptives and chemotherapy.
Up to 15% of Caucasians carry a genetic mutation in a clotting factor that makes it resistant to Protein C’s effects, leading to similar symptoms as Protein C deficiency.
Tourniquet placement for extended periods of time can cause veins to pool with blood, altering Protein C and Protein S levels and affecting the test results.
Protein C and Protein S are being considered for use in therapy for individuals with hypercoagulation or Sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
LeanMachine advises finding a specialist experienced in these disorders, as these conditions can be easily mis-diagnosed.

More tests to follow here soon…

There are many more tests available, but the ones included here are among the most common.
To get accurate readings, be sure to follow instructions in preparing for tests.
We may be asked not to eat and to drink only water for anywhere from a few hours to 12 hours beforehand.
Follow these instructions, or results may be skewed, requiring additional tests or even unnecessary medications or procedures.
Remember that you have the right to ask questions!
No matter how busy the Doctor is, you are entitled to the information and explanation.
If the Doctor cannot provide it, ask the nurse. If you still cannot get a reasonable explanation, find another doctor!
This information is not meant to replace advice from the doctor, but to assist us to understand what the results mean, and allow us to ask the doctor any appropriate questions related to the test results, and understand the health, medication, treatment and prognosis implications.
And if the doctor says “All of your results are fine” then ask if any are “in range, but not optimal” and “what changes should I make to progress toward optimal results”.
Always get a printed copy of your results, and refer to this site to check if the doctor is really telling the truth, bluffing, or has no idea.

LeanMachine Supplements: Health Supplements, Body Building, Immunity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Weight Loss and more

 

Updated 6th September 2019, Copyright © 1999 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285Reproduction by any means absolutely prohibited, however links to this site are allowed from other web sites after permission granted, email sales@leanmachine.com.au for link requests.

 

How Functional Genetics Can Help You Take Control of Your Health

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  – Fact Checked – May 12, 2019

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articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/05/12/methylgenetic-nutrition-analysis.aspx

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Story at-a-glance

  • Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes
  • When you have SNPs (genetic variants or defects on the genes), enzymes may not be working effectively, or the gene may be upregulated or downregulated
  • While traditional genetics often looks for potential disease states, functional genetics looks for potential impairment of function and helps find the best nutritional intervention to bring your body back into balance
  • People with genetic weaknesses that hamper detoxification who are exposed to high amounts of environmental toxins can be struggling with health due to their limited ability to detoxify
  • NutriGenetic Research Institute is devoted to functional genomic testing, training health professionals to help people understand the results and how to apply it to improve their health

Functional genomics is a gene testing modality with enormous value that many are completely unaware of. Bob Miller1 is a certified traditional naturopath specializing in genetic-specific nutrition. He’s the founder of the NutriGenetic Research Institute,2 devoted to testing and helping people understand the results of their functional genetic testing and how to apply it to improve their health.

“As a traditional naturopath, we’re not licensed medical doctors, so we don’t diagnose, treat or prescribe,” Miller explains. “We look at the functional approach of, ‘How is the terrain off in the body?’ … [W]hen the body is toxic or inflamed, that’s when pathogens have a better opportunity to thrive.

Many years ago, I learned about how homocysteine has pathways that clear it that may be impaired by genetic variants. I became very fascinated by it. I started looking at the enzymes that clear it, and then the genetics behind it.

My whole naturopathic and holistic practice is [now] dedicated to helping clients measure their functional genomics, which is quite a bit different than traditional genetics that looks for disease patterns, and trying to find out how we can make interventions to bring the body back into balance …

Our goal is to be able to make a contribution to functional practitioners, so they can do their job a lot better and improve the lives of those who are suffering with some of those things that nobody can seem to figure out …

To sum up what we’re finding is that those with genetic weakness in detox pathways are exposed to environmental factors we weren’t dealing with 50 to 75 years ago; their ability to detox is overwhelmed. I think this is a whole new paradigm that we have to look at in wellness.

Those who don’t have a specific disease, so to speak, but are just totally overwhelmed by all of the epigenetic factors, such as pesticides, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) … excess iron … plastics … mold … [and] sometimes even oversupplementation with things like folate and glutamine … that no matter what they try, it doesn’t work …

That’s why we need to move to personalized care, based upon the individual. Fortunately, we now have tools to do that.”

What Is Functional Genetics?

Certain genes are known to predispose you to, or raise your risk of, certain diseases. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes related to function.

You’ve probably seen representations of the DNA ladder. On the end of each rung is a molecule from each of your parents. These molecules can either make your DNA optimal or, if you have a SNP, meaning a defect, that gene will not work at optimal efficiency. Miller explains:

“To make this simple, we eat fats, carbohydrates and proteins. We drink water, breathe air and are exposed to sunlight. What an absolute miracle it is that all of that turns into us: our blood, our skin, our nails, our organs and our thought processes. All of that is one enzymatic process after another.

So, an enzyme takes substance A; pulls in what we call cofactors and makes substance B. That continually happens throughout your body — one process after another. It’s your genetic makeup that [provides] the instructions on how to make these enzymes.

When we have genetic variants, SNPs, on the genes, sometimes those enzymes either aren’t as effective … or might be upregulated or downregulated. Therefore, that substance A to substance B [conversion] may not occur as it should.

Now, people get all excited about whether they have genetic variants or not, but there’s something else just as important. That’s the cofactor. Remember, substance A plus cofactors turns into substance B. You could have absolutely perfect genetics, that enzyme is made perfectly, but if you’re missing the cofactors, that A to B [conversion] is not going to work …

Where people really get hit hard is when they’ve got genetic weakness and cofactor weakness. Then there’s a third piece. Sometimes there are things that interfere. For example, lead, mercury and other things may suppress that enzymatic function …

Now, interestingly, we have all kinds of backups. One pathway may not be working, but another one might kick in. But what we’re observing … is that those who are struggling usually have multiple pathways blocked. Plus, they get multiple epigenetic exposures … When you get those epigenetic and genetic factors going together, that’s when things really start going awry.”

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The Relationship Between mTOR Pathway and Autophagy

Autophagy means “self-eating” and refers to your body’s process of eliminating damaged and defective cellular parts that are targeted for lysosome, which then digests them. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a molecular signaling pathway responsible for either growth or repair, depending on whether it is stimulated or inhibited.

I’ve often stated that to upregulate maintenance and repair (which will boost longevity and reduce your risk for cancer), you need to suppress the mTOR pathway. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to limit your protein intake, but it’s not the only way. Autophagy and mTOR are two processes that work together, but are inverse to each other. Miller likens mTOR to a construction crew, whereas autophagy refers to the cleanup crew.

“One of the ways you can tell if your autophagy is not working is when you get those age spots, sun spots, liver spots, whatever you’d like to call them,” Miller says. “That’s when the old cell is not cleared away and it becomes oxidized, it becomes senescent. It actually becomes a free radical-giving reactive oxygen species.

Now, we need a balance between [mTOR and autophagy]. We need a time to build and we need a time to clean. One of the things our research institute [found] in some of our studies on those with chronic Lyme disease [is] that we are being exposed to more epigenetic environmental factors that stimulate mTOR … ”

Factors That Activate mTOR Versus Those That Support Autophagy

Examples of environmental factors that activate mTOR include:

Xenoestrogens (chemicals in plastic) EMFs
Insulin Excess protein
Excess iron Excess folic acid, folate or methyl folate
Excess glutamate Amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine

When mTOR is activated, it inhibits autophagy and, according to Miller, many of the health challenges people face these days appear to be related to excess mTOR activation.

This is also one way by which a cyclical ketogenic diet helps improve your health, as it inhibits mTOR and activates autophagy. When mTOR is chronically activated, it will not only inhibit autophagy but also impair apoptosis (cell death), and if that’s impaired, your risk for cancer will significantly increase as well.

“We have identified the genes that are involved with autophagy,” Miller says. “They’re called Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1), serine/threonine-protein kinase (ULK2), 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and AuTophaGy related 1 (ATG1).

Those all stimulate autophagy. We’re finding that when people have a lot of genetic variants, especially when they inherit it from both parents, this is where their autophagy’s weakened. They’re 45 years old and covered with age spots. They can’t detox.

Ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and nutrients [such as] lithium and berberine support autophagy. Resveratrol and curcumin slow down mTOR.

When you put the three together — the caloric restriction mimetics (CRM) [editor’s note: supplements that mimic the antiaging effects of calorie restriction] … along with the keto diet, along with some form of intermittent fasting — you’re able to bring balance to mTOR and autophagy.”

If Ketogenic Diet or Intermittent Fasting Fails for You, This Could Be Why

While intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy for a majority of people, it doesn’t work as expected for everyone. As explained by Miller, members of his research team have discovered having a functional heme pathway is extremely important when you’re on a ketogenic diet and/or intermittently fasting.

Heme protein is created through an eight-step process beginning with succinyl coenzyme A (succinyl CoA), glycine and amino acids. Heme protein in turn is a component of hemoglobin, but it’s also involved in the making of nitric oxide, catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and sulfite oxidase (SUOX), which is your sulfide to sulfate conversion.

“It’s involved in so many processes that I didn’t even realize until we started to research,” Miller says. “This [heme] pathway may be impaired by … glyphosate [which impacts glycine] … lead … and genetic variants in the heme pathway.

If any of those happen, you don’t make adequate heme, so you’re going to be a very poor detoxer. Now, what’s interesting … [is that] if porphyrins [glycoproteins responsible for pore formation in cell membranes] are not transferred one to another, they will block the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor sites. GABA is the ‘Don’t worry. Be happy. Sleep. Relax’ [neurotransmitter]. Clearly, there are problems with anxiety in the world today.

If this heme pathway gets disturbed, people oftentimes crave carbohydrates. If they try to go keto, it doesn’t work. If they try to do intermittent fasting, it doesn’t work … It’s a small amount of people, but for some individuals who just crave carbohydrates, they’ll get hangry if they don’t have their carbohydrates. They’re actually feeding that heme pathway.

If someone’s ever tried keto and is like, ‘This just does not work for me,’ there’s a potential that the heme pathway could be impaired. You have to keep those carbohydrates coming in on a regular basis to feed it, or else you feel horrible. I remember in the past people telling me, ‘Whenever I try to eat healthy, I feel horrible. When I eat junk, I feel better.’

I used to think, ‘Yeah. I’m not sure I buy that.’ But now that you understand this heme pathway and how carbohydrates and simple sugars can feed it, it starts to make sense that that is a potential scenario for some people.”

Even if You’re Anemic, You May Be Overabsorbing Iron

As mentioned earlier, iron stimulates mTOR. Clearly, iron is crucial for optimal health. Without sufficient amounts of iron, you cannot make sufficient amounts of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through your body. However, in excess, iron is incredibly destructive.

“Here’s one of the interesting things we found through our research. There are many people who have genetic predisposition to overabsorbing iron, yet they’re told all their life they’re anemic. It just seems like such a dichotomy; how can you be anemic if you’re overabsorbing iron?

One of the things that we … find in many who are struggling and can’t get answers anywhere else is that they overabsorb iron. There’s an enzyme called ferroportin, [which] is what takes iron out of the cells. SNPs there, or genetic defects, inhibit the removal of the iron. Through something called the Fenton reaction … iron may combine with hydrogen peroxide to make hydroxyl radicals.

This can then go on to make another nasty free radical called peroxynitrite. Consequently, the person is anemic because they are measuring what’s in the blood, but the iron can be in excess and inside the cells, causing massive inflammation.

As that iron bangs around inside the cell, it creates fatigue, because the mitochondria are having a hard time making energy. These are the people who if someone gives them iron, many times, they feel considerably worse, because they’ve just fed the fire.

In our consulting, one of the things we probably do the most is identifying the Fenton reaction going on and taking remedial action to, for example, help turn the hydrogen peroxide into water through an enzyme called catalase; supporting enzymes and antioxidants called glutathione and thioredoxin that turn the hydrogen peroxide into water, [and] using homeopathics to make the iron behave itself.”

Hydrogen water can be helpful here, Miller notes, because it helps decrease the excess hydroxyl radicals. “Quite simply, H2O2 plus iron equals hydroxyl free radical (OH-), which is one of the most highly reactive and damaging free radicals,” Miller explains.

I’ve previously interviewed Tyler LeBaron, one of the leading experts on molecular hydrogen, and he believes the benefits may be related more to the upregulation of antioxidant pathways, such as the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Either way, whatever the mechanism, it seems clear hydrogen water has the ability to neutralize free radicals.

Situations in Which NAC or Methyl Folate May Backfire

I’ve previously written about the benefits of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), the rate-limiting factor for glutathione, which is a master antioxidant made by your body. However, in order for this to work, you must have the required enzymes. What’s more, if you have an iron problem, the cysteine you take can combine with the iron to create hydroxyl radicals — essentially worsening your situation.

“It goes back to the fact that we’ve got to get away from the cookie cutter, ‘Oh, you’re inflamed. Take NAC.’ NAC can be the perfect thing for you, or it can make you worse, depending on your genomic make up,” Miller says.

Miller has developed a hierarchical pyramid of different variables and his approach to treating them. Interestingly, many who superficially look at functional genomics think that the methylation defect is one of the most important. It is important, but according to Miller there are many others that supersede it in terms of importance.

nutrigenetic hierarchical pyramid

“[Methylation] is about how we take folic acid or folate from our diet and turn it into methyl folate, which is a very important molecule. For a woman who’s pregnant, you’ve got to have it for a good pregnancy. We’re not saying it’s not a good thing … Now, one of the interesting things about methyl folate is you need it for pregnancy because it supports mTOR.

If someone’s already in mTOR dominance and they take methyl folate, they’re going to get more anxious and more inflamed. I’ve talked to so many people who’ve said, ‘Oh, yeah. I have MTHFR. Somebody put me on methyl B12, methyl folate. I felt great for two weeks, and then I crashed.’

The reason they may have crashed is because they started to stimulate mTOR, weakening their autophagy even more, driving more inflammation … As we dug deeper, we realized that methyl folate is important, but it has to be done at the right time. That’s why I developed my pyramid.

At the very bottom we have things we have to address first, such as, is iron becoming a free radical? Is hydrogen peroxide not being cleared? Is there nitric oxide synthase (NOS) uncoupling? — where rather than making nitric oxide, we make more peroxynitrite.

And then we look at how we’re making antioxidants. How’s our glutathione pathways? How’s our superoxide dismutase? How are we making NADPH? … For the most part, I believe that when people are massively inflamed, you need to address that first.

If someone is massively inflamed, if their iron is creating hydroxyl radicals, if they have weakness in their antioxidants … and you throw methyl folate in there … there’s a very good chance it will make the situation worse.

By and large, if someone’s massively inflamed, I’d like to think about methyl folate six to eight months down the road, two to three days a week. We tend to think, ‘If a little’s good for us, a lot must be good for us.’ I’m now thinking need to be pulsing things.”

I totally agree pulsing is a key component that should not be overlooked, whether you’re taking supplements, fasting or doing a ketogenic diet. It’s important to go through cycles of buildup and tear-down.

For example, during a partial fast, you’re stimulating autophagy through caloric restriction. At that time, you would not want to take anything that stimulates mTOR (such as methyl folate or any of the other items listed above), as by stimulating mTOR you effectively interrupt the autophagy process.

Mast Cells Could Be Wreaking Havoc With Your Health

Glutathione rapidly loses electrons, making it useless unless recharged by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH). As explained by Miller, the “NADPH steal,” a term he coined, may also be at play in many of the health issues people face today.

It’s becoming more widely known that you can have excess mast cells. Miller estimates about 80 percent of his clients have excess mast cell activation triggering histamine reactions. One of the signs of this is redness of the face due to heat intolerance. Sensitivity to touch is another, as are frequent, red, raised rashes.

Mast cells are white blood cells that come to the rescue when there’s a pathogen or a foreign invader that needs to be eliminated. While overfiring mast cells can cause problems, they’re not inherently bad, and strategies that inhibit them can backfire. Instead, Miller recommends determining why your mast cells are overactive.

His team presented research at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society’s 19th Annual Conference in November last year, identifying epigenetic factors that stimulate mast cells. He explains the relationships between mast cells, NADPH, NOX and glutathione:

“In simple terms, glutathione … has one chance to give a free radical an electron. Once it does that, it becomes oxidized. Then we need to donate that electron back. There’s this substance called NADPH that donates that electron back.3 It takes that oxidized glutathione and turns it back into reduced. That’s a good thing.

Now, NADPH has a dual role. There’s also an enzyme called NOX (NADPH oxidase). Its only purpose is to take this NADPH and turn it into a free radical … Now, they’ve done studies on animals. When they knock out that NOX enzyme, the animal dies from infection because it doesn’t have the ability to kill the pathogen.

Again, NOX and free radicals are not bad. But there are multiple factors that are now overstimulating NOX. One of them is sulfite. Sulfite needs to turn into sulfates. If we have deficiency of heme, we may not turn sulfites in sulfates … If sulfites don’t turn into sulfates, the sulfites may tell the NOX enzyme, ‘You need to make inflammation.’

Dopamine stimulates it [NOX], so stress will cause it. Glutamate stimulates it. Iron stimulates the NOX enzyme, and so does excessive mTOR … The NADPH steal is when NADPH gets stolen away from recycling glutathione, recycling thriodoxine, making nitric oxide, and potentially making excess mast cells.

There are a lot of people struggling with excess mast cells firing. They’re really sick. They don’t know what to do … Mold will also stimulate mast cells …

To sum it up, NADPH is critical for recycling your antioxidants. I believe the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and the NADPH are some of the most important things we can have adequate levels of for longevity and good health. We’re using up a lot of it because we’re exposed to so many toxic substances. Then, if another set of substances are stealing it to stimulate NOX to make mast cells, then we’ve just doubled the problem.”

Molecular hydrogen serves a role here as well, as studies have shown molecular hydrogen is an effective inhibitor of NOX,4 and can increase your concentration of NADPH. Curcumin also inhibits NOX, as does luteolin, apigenin and olive leaf. Aldosterone, on the other hand, stimulates NOX, Miller says.

More Information

This interview is quite loaded with information, not all of which has been covered in this article. For even more side notes and fascinating tangents, I recommend listening to the interview in its entirety.

Health practitioners interested in learning more about functional genomic analysis and how to apply it in your own practice, see the NutriGenetic Research Institute’s website, where you can sign up for their 30-hour, 14-module online certification course to become a nutritional genetic consultant.

Webinars for health practitioners are held every other Thursday. They also hold an annual conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The next one is scheduled for November 2019. In September, they’re also holding a seminar on environmental toxicity, detoxification and methylation mapping.

Patients interested in more information are directed to the yourgenomicresource.com which includes a listing of doctors who have completed the training and are qualified to provide nutritional guidance based on your SNPs. Up until last year, Miller could guide patients based on the genetic data provided by companies such as 23andMe. Now, he has developed his own DNA testing, which is capable of identifying some 300,000 SNPs.

Importantly, NutriGenetic Research Institute will never sell your private DNA or health data to anyone, which is one of the reasons why 23andMe is so inexpensive — they make their money by selling your DNA results to drug companies.

“I have pledged to everyone in writing that this data will never be sold to anyone. The other thing people can do, if they’re still worried, you can just change your name. Just come up with a fake name. It doesn’t matter. We don’t care. You just have to remember what it is,” Miller says.

“The [DNA] data from Brooks at Rutgers gets loaded into my software, which is in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — a huge database. Then it crunches the data and gives a report, including the pyramid …

If you’re sick, you’ve been everywhere and you’re not getting better, this is certainly an option … Our whole goal is to help people get well. And to make a little bit of a dent in functional medicine — to help functional practitioners have tools that they can help, because functional medicine doctors see the tough cases. We want to give them some tools so that they can do a better job …

One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Genetics is never a diagnosis, but it tells you where to start looking.’ It’s like shining a light. ‘Think about looking here. Investigate whether this is a problem.’ Sometimes the SNPs show a problem, sometimes they don’t, but it can really give you clues to look where you may never have thought to look before.”

Sources and References